BERLIN – A U.N. human rights expert has sharpened his criticism of cuts to social support in Britain, describing recent changes as window-dressing and calling for a "new vision."
Philip Alston, the U.N. Human Rights Council-appointed expert on poverty, visited Britain in November. In a report Wednesday, he said there are 14 million people living in poverty and "record levels of hunger and homelessness."
Alston said the government has acted on some issues he raised previously, delaying the rollout of a new welfare program known as Universal Credit and improving it. But, he added: "for all the talk that austerity is over, massive disinvestment in the social safety net continues unabated."
The government enacted spending cuts in welfare as part of austerity programs to balance the books after the 2008 financial crisis.