UK government policies continue to entrench poverty and inflict unnecessary misery on millions of people, says Just Fair director Jess McQuail and UN’s Olivier De Schutter.
When the former UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Philip Alston, visited the UK in November 2018 he concluded that UK government policies had led to the “systematic immiseration of millions across Great Britain”. Many hoped this would be a wakeup call, yet five years on the government is still fast asleep.
During his 12-day visit, Alston met people who had sold sex for shelter, were depending on food banks for their next meal, or sleeping on friends’ sofas because they were homeless and didn’t have a safe place for their children to sleep. He spoke to young people who felt gangs were the only way out of destitution and children growing up in poverty, unsure of what their future held.
The situations described above remain all too familiar across the UK.