The UN report by Philip Alston goes on to document a series of findings which combine to
present a withering assessment of Britain’s approach to its poorest
– 14 million people – a fifth of the UK population – live in poverty
– Child poverty is predicted to rise 7% between 2015 and 2022
– Homelessness is up 60% since 2010 and an exponential growth in
the number of food banks.
– A 49% real terms reduction in funding for local governments since 2010
“The command and control approach reflected in universal
credit is that sanctions should be harsh, immediate and painful – and
yet all of the evidence that I’ve seen indicate that sanctions are
usually counter-productive, that they create fear and loathing among
claimants and they impose immense hardship.“
When asked about the kind of future the UK faces, Mr Alston said:
“Britain is heading towards an alienated society where you have pretty
dramatic differences between the upper classes and the lower classes.”
Responding to the findings, Labour’s shadow work and pensions
secretary Margaret Greenwood urged the Tory government to listen to the
people being pushed into poverty by its policies. “Universal credit is failing miserably, leaving families in debt,
rent arrears and at risk of becoming homeless. Three million children
are growing up in poverty despite living in a working household.”
“Labour will stop the roll out of universal credit, end the
benefit freeze and transform the social security system so that it
supports people instead of punishing them.”
UN’s damning verdict on poverty in Britain, released today via Philip Alston:
“British compassion for those who are suffering has been replaced by a punitive, mean-spirited, and often callous approach… The Tory government has created a highly combustible situation that will have dire consequences. Poverty is a political choice. Austerity could easily have spared the poor, if the political will had existed to do so.”
The Conservative government will continue these cruel policies until they are voted out at the next general election.
The Tories aren’t interested in fixing Universal Credit because it is doing what the Conservative government designed it to do; punish the poor for their own poverty.
This is why voting the Tories out is so important. The Tories will continue implementing their cruel policies as long as they are in government and regardless of who is their leader or what happens with Brexit.