Philip Alston Britain New York social pandemic reports Philip Alston Britain New York

UK bus system 'expensive, unreliable and dysfunctional' and a key factor in poverty

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From across the Atlantic, Philip Alston has been watching Covid unfold in the UK. The former UN Special Rapporteur wrote an excoriating report in 2019 about austerity’s effects on the UK, labelling a broken British social security system, now struggling to cope, as “mean and callous”.

This week, the Government quietly shelved plans to extend sick pay. Last week, the Government announced it will end the £20 uplift to Universal Credit, the benefit Alston called a “social calamity”. “Tragically, the UK Government has followed the lead of other Conservative governments in Western countries,” Alston says, speaking from a New York café. “When Conservative voters were forced onto welfare, benefits were put up. “You don’t want your friends to be

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