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UN austerity probe begins

A United Nations special investigator has today begun a two-week inquiry into the impact of the Government’s austerity measures. Philip Alston, the UN's special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, will visit some of the UK's poorest town and cities to meet MPs, government officials, academics and families in hardship. He will publish an interim report in mid-November based on evidence regarding the impact of Universal Credit, welfare changes, local government cuts and rising living costs. The inquiry will assess whether Government policies breach international human rights standards to which the UK is a signatory, including the right to food, housing and decent living standards. He will also try to assess the impact of Brexit on poverty.