United Nations

Poverty is systematic and tragic, says UN investigator

Stephanie Finnon

BBC Newcastle

A United Nations-backed report says public spending cuts over the last eight years have led to high levels of poverty in many parts of Britain - including the North East.

That is the conclusion of Prof Philip Alston, an investigator on extreme poverty who toured the UK last November.

Philip Alston in Newcastle

He visited the Newcastle West End foodbank, which is the biggest in the country.

Prof Alston has warned that unless policies change, people on low incomes seem destined to lead lives that are "solitary and short".

Ministers say the report is a "barely believable" documentation of Britain, based on a tiny period of time spent here.

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