UN investigates impact of austerity

Special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights for the United Nations, Philip Alston, today begins a two-week investigation into the impact of austerity in the UK.

5 Nov 2018| News

Photo by Daryan Shamkhali

He will meet MPs, visit food banks and community groups as well as people experiencing hardship in Glasgow, Barking, Oxford, Belfast, East London, Newcastle upon Tyne, Jaywick Sands (the most deprived area in the UK) and Cardiff.

“The United Kingdom is one of the richest countries in the world, but millions of people are still living in poverty there,” the Guardian quoted him as saying.

Almost 300 charities, experts and individuals have submitted evidence about the impact of government cuts, rocketing living costs and changes to the welfare state.

Alston’s inquiry will evaluate the compliance of government policies with international human rights standards and will result in an interim report before the end of the month.

The Guardian quoted him as saying it is “clear many people are really struggling to make ends meet” in the UK.

“I think the UK is at a crossroads, partly because of Brexit, and partly because of the comments made by the Prime Minister and the Chancellor in terms of austerity [being over],” he added. “My hope is that there is a real possibility for a dialogue about future policy direction.”