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.
The widely respected Institute for Fiscal Studies predicts a 7% rise in child poverty between 2015 and 2022, and various sources predict child poverty rates of as high as 40%.
Philip Alston, UN rapporteur, discusses food banks; “I was struck by how much their mobilization resembled the sort of activity you might expect for a natural disaster or health epidemic.”
Philip Alston: "Cuts to council budgets stand at 49.9%. Tories ignoring damage to the fabric of society. Libraries closed, youth centers closed down. Community roots are being "systematically broken"
UN envoy Philip Alston says that "the women who experience domestic violence are tied in to abusive partner. Universal Credit does not show any understanding of violence towards women."
Philip Alston, the UN’s rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Child poverty levels are “not just a disgrace, but a social calamity and an economic disaster”.
The experience of the United Kingdom, especially since 2010, underscores the conclusion that poverty is a political choice.
Austerity could easily have spared the poor, if the political will had existed to do so. Resources were available to the Treasury.