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Seven-day wait for benefits may cause hardship, says Church agency

The Comprehensive Spending Review plans to cap welfare expenditure (PA)

The British Government’s proposed seven-day wait before jobseekers can claim benefits may cause financial difficulties for vulnerable families, a Church agency has said.

Caritas Social Action Network (CSAN) expressed concerns about the recent Comprehensive Spending Review’s plans to cap welfare expenditure. The proposed changes involve a seven-day wait before the unemployed can claim benefits, along with a 10 per cent reduction in local government funding.

Liam Allmark, CSAN’s public affairs officer, said: “The proposed seven-day wait before jobseekers can claim benefits could cause severe financial hardship for families who are already trying to balance tight budgets and meet rent payments.”

CSAN is a Catholic agency working for social action in England and Wales. At a recent CSAN conference, Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster voiced his concern about the lack of support for struggling families in Britain.

He said: “A social safety net that fails to protect essentials such as food and shelter for those who cannot work, is not worthy of being regarded as a safety net at all.”