The recently released UN Poverty Report by Philip Alston delves into how government policies can affect those in debt. Read this blog to find out more.
Philip Alston, Australian human rights practitioner, has recently released a UN Poverty Report following a trip to the UK, which criticised the way the UK government handles people in debt. Amber Rudd, the Department of Work and Pensions secretary has condemned the report, due to the “extraordinary political nature” of the language used through the report.
Findings in Alston’s report show how some of the government’s policies could affect people in debt, with key points focusing on austerity, Universal Credit, Brexit, poverty and more. Read on below to find out how Alston’s findings can affect people in debt.
Critical of the Chancellor’s decision to allow a tax cut for the rich in this month’s budget rather than to put the money towards helping lessen poverty, Alston states “Austerity could easily have spared the poor, if the political will had existed to do so.”
Alston predicts that any changes regarding benefits or taxes will impact those “least able to bear it” the most, specifically the poor, women, ethnic minorities, children, single parents, asylum seekers and people with disabilities.
If you are concerned about any changes to benefits and taxes and would like to know how they can affect your finances, see how we can help you here.
Although Alston found Universal Credit to be a good idea, he found that flaws in its design, such as the initial 6 week waiting period before payments, mean that Universal Credit itself could be leading to the rise of debt, as opposed to helping the people who use it. Alston called for an overhaul on the system, recommending the elimination of the initial waiting period for the first payment.
If you are in the initial waiting period of your Universal Credit claim and are struggling to manage your finances, speak to us today to find out how we can help you.
With this ongoing period of uncertainty for Brexit, Alston stated that current policies towards low income working people and others in poverty will be substantially less well off than they already are.
Although there are many concerns in general regarding Brexit, Alston concludes that the impact of Brexit on people in poverty is very much an afterthought, after almost all studies into Brexit have found that the UK economy will be worse off after Brexit, with inflation subsequently rising.
The impact of Brexit is a very real danger to those in debt. If you are concerned about the impact of Brexit upon your debts, take our debt test to find out how we can help.
Impact on mental health
Of course these financial and political worries can take a serious mental toll. During his UK visit, Alston heard a lot of accounts from people citing mental health and feelings of loneliness, stating, “I was surprised by the talk of suicide, by the people I met who said they had considered suicide … There are some pretty serious mental health dimensions.”
Alston met various people on his trip who were concerned they didn’t have a safe place for their children to sleep, disabled people who were told they had to go back to work, and people who felt like they had no way out of their current situation.
If you are struggling to see a way out of your current financial situation, we can help you. Speak to us today to find out how.
Want to read Alston’s report further? Read the entire report here.