Specifically, Nichols called for immediate attention to the level of welfare benefits and the two-child cap on universal credit payments.
“Businesses, too, especially small businesses, are facing acute challenges and will need help to survive,” he added. “Their support for employment and family income is crucial.”
The centralized welfare and public services system could benefit from the active participation of private individuals and civil society, said the cardinal, citing the Catholic social principle of subsidiarity.
Cardinal Nichols urged all Catholics to “give whatever time and financial resources they can to charitable endeavors that support those who are affected by the current crisis.” He praised Catholic schools’ long record of supporting children whose families are struggling.
“The work of our local parishes, and of Catholic charitable agencies, is based on the firm conviction of the inherent dignity of every person,” he said. “No one is to be cast aside or ‘discounted.’ I am confident that throughout this crisis, the Catholic community will do all we can to act on this conviction and promote this principle.”
“I trust that our parish communities will always be open to those suffering from hardship and in particular need of companionship and spiritual support at this time,” the cardinal continued. “They can help us to understand the humility we must have before God.”
“The spiritual needs of the poor and their special gifts should never be forgotten,” he added.
Nichols asked for prayers for everyone suffering from the cost-of-living crisis. He invoked St. Thomas More, patron saint of those serving in politics and public life, and St. Bernadette, patron saint of the poor.
“I pray that all in our society will work together to find ways, both short and long term, to alleviate this crisis which threatens the well-being of so many people,” he said.
During her tenure, Truss must also deal with the Ukraine crisis after the invasion of Russia. Northern Ireland and European Union relations are also expected to be problems, as the exit of the U.K. from the European Union continues to pose economic and political challenges.