UN in­ves­ti­ga­tor sets out on coun­try­wide poverty tour

The Guardian Weekly - - Global report -

A UN spe­cial in­ves­ti­ga­tor has launched a two-week in­quiry into ris­ing lev­els of poverty and hard­ship across the UK, say­ing he hopes the gov­ern­ment is ready for proper di­a­logue over the hu­man con­se­quences of aus­ter­ity cuts.

Philip Al­ston, the UN’s spe­cial rap­por­teur on ex­treme poverty and hu­man rights, is tour­ing some of the UK’s poor­est towns and cities, vis­it­ing food banks and com­mu­nity groups and meet­ing MPs, gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials, aca­demics and fam­i­lies in hard­ship. Al­ston, who has a rep­u­ta­tion as a fear­less, plain­speak­ing critic, will gather ev­i­dence on the im­pact of uni­ver­sal credit, wel­fare changes, lo­cal gov­ern­ment cuts and ris­ing liv­ing costs be­fore pub­lish­ing an in­terim re­port on his find­ings be­fore mid-Novem­ber.

He is sched­uled to visit Glas­gow, Bark­ing, Ox­ford, Belfast, Ne­wham in east Lon­don, New­cas­tle upon Tyne and Cardiff.

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