This article was published in The Conversation
The UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Philip Alston, is in the UK on an official UN mission. He is meeting with civil society groups, academics, public authorities and above all with people living in poverty and dealing with the consequences of years of austerity.
Alston, an independent expert from Australia, is seeking evidence on poverty, inequality and the effect of austerity on local government funding.
This official UN visit takes place at a critical juncture for the 66m people living on these islands. With Brexit’s bridge to nowhere in sight, Britons have been promised “the end of austerity” by their prime minister. However, think tanks such as the Resolution Foundation and the Institute for Fiscal Studies agree that the recent budget from the chancellor of the exchequer is far from an end to austerity, and that uncertainty about the future relationship with the EU leaves all financial prospects up in the air.
Alston and his UN team are visiting Belfast, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Essex, Glasgow, London – and Newcastle. Continue reading “Reality of poverty in Newcastle: UN examines effect of austerity”