From THE WAY:
The bishop of Jarrow, the Rt Rev Mark Bryant (Church of England), has pledged to give his £250 winter fuel handout from the government to charity. He is calling on older people in work, who also receive the payment, to do the same.
Writing in the latest issue of the Diocese of Durham’s magazine, bishop Bryant wrote: “It does look as if the Winter Fuel Payment is not really working in using money to get to the people who need it most. The facts of the matter are that I – and many other people in work – simply do not need the Winter Fuel Payment. There are others who are not getting it, who need it more.”
COMMENT: Of course, there is a big difference between a suffragan bishop’s salary and the salary of a person stacking shelves at B&Q,* and this must be factored in to such appeals for largesse. But I like the bishop’s attitude, especially that he is leading by example and not, as so often happens, excluding himself because of “special circumstances.” However, it would be far simpler if the stinking rich just gave most of their earnings to the poor and left both the poor and the average waged to enjoy their hard earned cash.
* B&Q are a DIY chain in the UK who have an admirable policy of deliberately employing older people. With the exception of the pitiful wages their employees receive, as is usual in the retail sector, this positive discrimination works well for both parties. B&Q’s older workers, who will have been victims of ageism in the employment market, get a job and B&Q get a whole load of workers who are wise, helpful and well-mannered.