UN expert calls level of UK poverty a ‘disgrace’

The UK Government’s policies and drastic cuts to social support are entrenching high levels of poverty and inflicting unnecessary misery in one of the richest countries in the world, a UN human rights expert said today.

Following a 12 day trip to the UK, including a visit to Glasgow and Edinburgh, the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights Philip Alston, said the level of poverty he had witnessed were a ‘disgrace’.

Responding to Alston’s report, Polly Jones, Project Manager at A Menu for Change, said: “This report is a damning indictment of the political choices which are pushing people across the UK into poverty, hunger and despair.

“Here in Scotland, the picture is equally grim. The Scottish Welfare Fund should provide a lifeline to families in crisis, but as Alston has highlighted, too many people are missing out on the assistance they’re entitled to. His warning should serve as a wakeup call to the Scottish government and local councils to prioritise this fund so it’s able to reach more people, more quickly and avoid them being driven to the doors of food banks.”