We are two months into our restored Executive and Assembly business delving into the nitty gritty of policy issues.

Last week, the Official Opposition, the SDLP, tabled motions on removing the universal credit two-child limit and on eradicating fuel poverty. Matthew O’Toole was aiming to build consensus on this issue and both motions passed through the Assembly. He called for the Executive to remove the two-child limit, describing it as a punishment” of children.

As part of the Coalition of Christian Voices Against Poverty, we advocate for an anti-poverty strategy promised in the days of the GFA which is long overdue and is crucial for addressing these issues. But, as the Communities Minister Gordon Lyons said, progressing his priorities will be heavily dependent” on the budget allocations for 2024 – 25.

Poverty shouldn’t be an issue that divides us politically. It is not a right or a left issue. It is a human issue. As Christians, we believe in the value and dignity of every human life; we believe that every family should have enough to eat and a safe home.

Jesus and His call to sacrificial living causes us to consider, as we rightly urge our government to care for the vulnerable, should we also be asking ourselves: what are we willing to give up so our neighbours have enough?