Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has defended the coalition's welfare reforms in the face of the latest onslaught from the church, insisting it was right to withdraw benefits from claimants who refused to look for work.
"At a time when we inherited this massive black hole in our public finances there is nothing fair about simply saying we are not going to deal with our debts, we are going to let our children and our grandchildren do it," he said, speaking on his weekly LBC radio phone-in.
"You inevitably can't duck the fact that some of those savings come from a quarter of total public spending.
"I have a huge amount of respect for Vincent Nichols, but I think that to say that the safety net has been removed altogether is an exaggeration, it is not right. We are trying to get the balance right."
More top news
MI5 face mounting pressure over claims the IS executioner 'Jihadi John', named yesterday as a London graduate, was known to them
Labour leader Ed Miliband is due to set out his party's plans on how it would cut tuition fees.
New drug driving laws are to come into effect next week, including laws on some prescribed medications.