Letter to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
29 May 2019Dear Michelle Bachelet Jeria,
I am writing to you regarding the Report of the Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights on his visit to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
It has been reported that the Government intends to lodge a formal complaint with you about the contents of the Report, as it wishes to dispute some of the Special Rapporteur’s findings. If you are presented with such a complaint, might you please consider this letter alongside it as an endorsement of the Report?
For the first time that I can remember in my 40 years as a Member of Parliament, as well as the previous 10 years as Director of the Child Poverty Action Group, we have a Government that is deliberately cutting benefits in real terms and designing a welfare system which makes our poorest citizens even poorer. Charitable bodies that are based in deprived communities rarely meet anybody now who is not cold or hungry. The Special Rapporteur’s findings are consistent with these developments.
I very much hope that, rather than pursue any complaint that might be lodged with you by the Government, you will ask them to ensure that those of our fellow citizens who have lost most under the era of austerity are first in line for any additional monies that are forthcoming to mark the end of this era.