Justin Welby: Archbishop says it is ‘disappointing’ politicians have failed to resolve social care issue | Political News


It is “disappointing” that politicians have failed to resolve the challenges facing the social care sector, the Archbishop of Canterbury has said.

Speaking to Sky News’ Beth Rigby, Justin Welby described the issue of how to plug the gap in social care funding as “one of the most fundamental questions affecting our country, morally and ethically”.

The archbishop said he believes the rate of tax all individuals pay must be increased to cover rising costs in the social care sector.

He said increased funds are “going to have to come from taxation, which means from all of us” but stressed that “it has to be seen to be just and fair to meet the values ​​we want as a society”.

Asked whether the burden should fall on people’s estates, or be obtained by general taxation or a mix, Mr Welby added: “It’s a mix. It’s always going to be a mix.”

He also dismissed criticism that intervening in political issues isn’t his job, saying: “I would say caring for people is very much my job and is very much the the role of the church.”

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former prime minister Boris Johnson pledged to “fix social care” during his premiership.

But the plans to raise taxes to help fund the sector, which he announced while in Number 10, did not become a reality.

Asked whether he was dismayed when these plans to increase taxation to generate more income for the social care sector Came to nothing, the archbishop said: “Not dismayed, but certainly it’s disappointing.

“Though one has to recognize that politicians have enormously difficult questions of priority, but this is one of the most fundamental questions affecting our country, morally and ethically.

“But also because it has ramifications and effects all over the country.

“It has effects on hospitals, it has effects on families, it has effects on people who need care and people with learning difficulties. People who are elderly – we all know people who need care and support, many of us help with caring for people .”

Pressed on whether he believes politicians have not done enough to resolve the issues the sector is facing, Mr Welby told Sky News: “Oh, I am not going to get into that sort of blame game.

“It is not about whether they have done a good enough job or not.

“We are where we are, but what can be done about the future?”

Elsewhere in the wide-ranging interview, the archbishop admitted he has received “flack” from within the Church of England following bishops’ “controversial” proposals on same-sex marriage.

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The archbishop says he believes the rate of tax all individuals pay must be increased to cover rising costs in the social care sector

Mr Welby acknowledged that the church’s latest compromise – rejecting same-sex marriage while backing clergy blessings of civil same-sex marriage – has led to criticism that “traditional Christian standards” have been compromised.

The archbishop also admitted that it is “not comfortable” that in his current role, he is not able to bless same-sex marriages.

The Church of England has outlined plans to bless same-sex couples who are legally married.

However, under the proposals, same-sex couples still would still not be able to marry in the church and blessings for civil gay marriages would be on a voluntary basis for clergy.

Campaigners hoping to see same-sex marriage legalized in the church plan to table a vote next month that would test support for the move in the General Synod, the church’s legislative assembly.

Read more: Church of England says no to gay marriage but Archbishop of Canterbury welcomes blessings for same-sex couples in historic first

Asked whether he accepts there is a credibility after calling for inclusion but arguably discriminating against the LGBT community, Mr Welby admitted: “That is what people might think.”

He continued: “First, we have made a huge step which is to say that if someone is married in a civil marriage, equal marriage, to someone of their own gender – same sex marriage – that they can come to church, can have that marriage recognized and thanked for and dedicate themselves to God and seek God’s blessing in their lives.

“And that is something that we have never done before.

“And it is controversial. I am getting an equal amount of flack from the other side about having compromised traditional Christian standards.”

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Welby says social care is ‘broken’

Probed as to whether he would personally bless same-sex marriages if he were not archbishop, Mr Welby replied: “I support the use of these resources… so they bless the people in same-sex marriages.”

Asked whether it is difficult not to be able to do what he personally would like to do, he added: “No, I accept that it is part of my role. It is just the way it is.”

Pressed on whether he accepts there is a conflict surrounding the issue which is uncomfortable, the archbishop admitted that it is “not comfortable”, adding that “the church is deeply divided over this issue”.

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