(ed: this is about the u.k. but it is also about new zealand – where successive tory and labour governments followed that bitter path of neoliberal social engineering/austerity..
and as there – this left in its’ wake widespread poverty/homelessness/inequality..here in new zealand – and to this day..
and while making some moves in some areas..(housing for the middle-class/children of the middle-class) this new labour coalition government – despite promising transformation..is yet to deliver – for so many new zealanders still wallowing/sinking in that neoliberal-austerity wake..
wish they’d get a move on..with that promised ‘transformation’..eh..?..
The UK government has inflicted ‘great misery’ on its people with ‘punitive mean-spirited and often callous’ austerity policies driven by a political desire to undertake social re-engineering rather than economic necessity – the United Nations poverty envoy has found.
Philip Alston – the UN’s rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights – ended a two-week fact-finding mission to the UK with a stinging declaration that levels of child poverty were ‘not just a disgrace but a social calamity and an economic disaster’ even though the UK is the world’s fifth largest economy,
About 14 million people – a fifth of the population – live in poverty and 1.5 million are destitute – being unable to afford basic essentials he said – citing figures from the Institute for Fiscal Studies and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
He highlighted predictions that child poverty could rise by 7% between 2015 and 2022 – possibly up to a rate of 40%.
‘It is patently unjust and contrary to British values that so many people are living in poverty’ he said – adding that compassion had been abandoned during almost a decade of austerity policies that had been so profound that key elements of the postwar social contract – devised by William Beveridge more than 70 years ago – had been swept away.