THE Archbishop of York has called for “people and justice” to be placed at the heart of the way Britain is run, criticising the payment of massive bank bonuses whilst public sector workers face losing their jobs.
Writing in today’s Yorkshire Post, John Sentamu warns that Britain risks becoming a society that “knows the price of everything and the value of nothing”.
Dr Sentamu also highlights the issue of a lack of affordable housing, stopping the young and poorly-paid having their own home.
He writes: “Can it be right that public sector workers, and those who work in British industry, face losing their jobs when those high earners in the banking sector who helped cause the economic crisis not only keep their jobs but rake in massive bonuses?
“Also, how can we have a situation where someone will suffer the devastation of unemployment while others in our society remain so overworked?”
He adds: “We have created a situation where many people live in relative poverty, while others have far more than they can ever hope to spend. In fact, the divide between the wages of the rich and the poor is growing in nearly all of the world’s leading economies.
“It doesn’t have to be this way. Surveys show that people do not feel that consumerism is necessarily a good thing, but they do it, knowing that reduces time for more valuable things like time for friends, family and community.
“Let us not be a society that knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.
“Let us value the contribution that every individual can make, not only in the workplace, but also at home and in the public square.”
The archbishop calls for a change in attitudes in the way the country is run: “Difficult choices have to be made, but people and justice must be at the centre of all decision-making in our country.
When we forget the importance and worth of every single member of society, we have forgotten what it means to be human.”