A damming United Nations report has heard how austerity is destroying people’s lives, this comes after an investigation from the organisation to understand the extreme poverty that has become a stain on our national identity.
Philip Alston, the UN’s special rapporteur on human rights and extreme poverty had announced earlier in the year that he would visit the UK to understand the challenges facing the poorest citizens. This comes after a previous report by the UN revealed that the UK government’s austerity measures and social security reform are in breach of their obligations to human rights.
“Government policies have inflicted great misery unnecessarily, especially on the working poor, on single mothers struggling against mighty odds, on people with disabilities who are already marginalised, and on millions of children who are locked into a cycle of poverty from which many will have great difficulty escaping,” – Philip Alston
This comes after several other warnings to the Conservative government including an exclusive that the Guardian revealed yesterday, where Gateshead council found that the Universal Credit system was linked to higher levels of suicide, depression and anxiety. Council after council, report after report is submitted showing the detrimental effect of Universal Credit and of austerity but to no avail, this Tory government is insistent on causing havoc in peoples’ lives.
It is telling that Jacob Rees-Mogg called the UN Report, a ‘Waste of money.’
Mr Alston has seen the full impact of austerity and the full impact of 8 years of Tory rule, where people have recalled how they have turned to sex work, or rely on food banks for their next meal.
Research from the Trussell Trust shows the top reasons for people going to food banks, 28.4% say it was because of low income, followed closely by benefit delays on nearly 24% and in third place benefit changes on over 17%. All 3 reasons are avoidable if the Government was willing to stop the roll-out of Universal Credit and force employers to pay the National Living Wage.
Analysis from Editor – Seb Chromiak
Writing this piece earlier today, I was furious but as the old cliche goes I was overcome with embarrassment and shame. A top International Organisation has criticised the UK for its record on human rights, its treatment of the poorest in our society, this is a national day of shame. It is hardly surprising that the number of times TPN has covered similar stories is un-quantifiable, these policies are no longer justified, I would call on the chancellor to rethink and truly bring an end to austerity.
These are human lives we are talking about, they’re not just a statistic, people’s lives are being ruined through mental health problems including, through low-esteem and the worthlessness that the Tory government assigns them. To the people of Great Britain, I would ask that you wake up, otherwise, we will become accustomed to such reports.