UN reports Fifth UK population in poverty
Fifth of UK population in poverty, reports UN human rights specialist
Professor Philip Alston, United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, has issued a statement following a research visit to the UK, in which he confirms that 14 million people, a fifth of the population, live in poverty.
Four million of these are more than 50% below the poverty line, and 1.5 million are destitute, unable to afford basic essentials. Describing the situation he discovered, Professor Alston said “For almost one in every two children to be poor in twenty-first century Britain is not just a disgrace, but a social calamity and an economic disaster, all rolled into one.”
The report explores the impact of Brexit, Universal Credit and the government’s ‘digital transformation’ in depth. It is heavily critical of the government for remaining “determinedly in a state of denial” about the dramatic decline in the fortunes of the least well off in the country. Professor Alston sets out a number of recommendations that he suggests could “readily solve” many of the problems that exist. You can read the full statement here.