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Savi Hensman's blog

Pay, welfare benefits, fairness and IDS

It is unfair that jobless benefits have risen far faster than salaries, claimed UK welfare secretary Iain Duncan Smith. But his efforts to justify a further onslaught on the living standards of unemployed people are unconvincing.

Snooping on job seekers is risky and unfair

British state plans to force unemployed people to look for work online and monitor them while they do so have been widely condemned. Privacy will be invaded, crime boosted and poor and disabled people victimised.

Equal marriage confusion: owning up

Confusion and dismay continue over plans for a ‘quadruple lock’ of legal safeguards to protect faith groups from being forced to celebrate marriages between same-sex couples in England and Wales.

The C of E and equal marriage: fostering crucial virtues

After the Prime Minister’s positive commitment to equal marriage and religious freedom, the official Church of England response was disappointingly negative.

The Bristol Christian Union women speaker ban was unbiblical

Update: Bristol University Christian Union performs U-turn on female speakers http://tinyurl.com/cojwb8j

Women bishops: time for some C of E self-examination

General Synod’s rejection of a motion allowing women to be bishops has badly damaged the Church of England’s credibility. It's time for some wider reflection and self-examination.

Workhouse, welfare and WCA: Dickens’ day and now

After a walk through “the little world of poverty enclosed within the workhouse walls”, Charles Dickens concluded that “We have come to this absurd, this dangerous, this monstrous pass, that the dishonest felon is, in respect of cleanliness, order, diet, and accommodation, better provided for, and taken care of, than the honest pauper.”

Are royals really poorer than minimum wage workers’ families?

In seeking once again to blame the poor for poverty, UK work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith has implied that several children of members of the royal family may be poorer than many living on the breadline with parents earning the minimum wage.

Housing benefit cuts and ‘troubled families'

The son-in-law of Baron Cottesloe plans to punish those who do not limit their families to two children and at some time require welfare benefits. UK Welfare Secretary Iain Duncan Smith controversially proposes in future to limit housing benefit and other state assistance to the first two children only.

Make pensioners keep working, peer urges

People over retirement age should be required to do community work or lose some of their pension, urged former Benefits Agency head Lord Bichard.