Impact of Government policies on family budgets

27 October 2011

The House of Lords examined how Government policies are affecting family budgets and what can be done to help in a debate on Thursday 27 October

As 37% of households see their finances worsen while prices rise, Members of the Lords – including Lord Stevenson of Balmacara, the Director of the Consumer Credit Counselling Service Scotland – addressed how the Government can support families in the economic downturn.

Lord Knight of Weymouth (Labour), former Government Minister for the Department for Children, Schools and Families, who tabled and opened the debate, said:

“Just this week we have seen new figures published showing 37% of households saw their financial circumstances worsen during October. As the economy stagnates, unemployment rises and inflation goes up, family budgets are being hit hard. 

“Claims of 'we are all in it together' are ringing hollow as the Institute of Fiscal Studies recent report forecasts an alarming rise in absolute and relative poverty over the next two years. 

“I have called this debate in the Lords to highlight these problems, especially in relation to food prices and the cost of energy, and to call on the Government to urgently act to help the poorest who are being hit hardest.”

Other Members who spoke in the debate included:

  • Baroness Pitkeathley (Labour), a former social worker and Chair of the New Opportunities Fund and current Chair of the Office of Third Sector Advisory Board
  • Lord Stevenson of Balmacara (Labour), Director of the Consumer Credit Counselling Service Scotland

Baroness Smith of Basildon (Labour), Lord Grantchester (Labour) and Lord Stoneham of Droxford (Liberal Democrat) also took part.

Lord Sassoon (Conservative) responded on behalf of the government.

Further information

Members of the public can attend House of Lords debates and follow proceedings from the public gallery.

Image: PA

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