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‘UN poverty report a damning indictment of British policy’ - Maskey

22 May, 2019 - by Alex Maskey

A United Nations report into the impact of austerity and welfare cuts is a damning indictment of British Government policy, Sinn Féin MLA Alex Maskey has said.

The party’s Welfare Spokesperson was commenting after the report by the UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty warned that ‘ideological’ cuts to public services since 2010 have led to ‘tragic consequences’ in Britain with an increased reliance on food banks, homelessness and child poverty.

“This report is an absolutely damning indictment on the impact of the Tory government’s austerity and welfare cuts agenda,” Alex Maskey said.

“It lays out in stark and devastating detail how the social safety net has been ‘deliberately removed and replaced with a harsh and uncaring ethos’.

“The consequences of this have been devastating for countless families and communities. And if the British Government cares one iota about the impact of its policies on vulnerable citizens, then it would abandon this approach.

“Thankfully, here in the north, we have been shielded from the worst impacts of the welfare cuts agenda by the top-up package secured as part of the Fresh Start Agreement.

“However, that does not mean that people here are not suffering as a result of relentless Tory cuts - they very much are.

“But this report once again underlines the devastating consequences we would face without the current mitigations package. It should serve as a reminder to all parties that we need to work together now to ensure that a second round of mitigations are in place when the current one expires in March 2020.

“While we must continue to oppose British Government cuts to welfare, we must also seek continuation of mitigation measures.”

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