Analysis News

Video: DWP civil servants admit – Alston’s report on terrible UK poverty was ‘factually’ accurate

DWP Secretary denounced report, but civil servants admit it was accurate but offended govt ‘politically’

Your Secretary of State [denounced UN’s report], but now you’re calling it in evidence

Leading civil servants working for the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) have been forced to admit to a committee of MPs that the report submitted by the UN’s Special Rapporteur for extreme poverty on desperate poverty in the UK is ‘factually correct’.

The civil servants danced around the issue as well as they could, but eventually had to confess that the report was accurate – and that Tory ministers who had denounced the report – who included DWP Secretary Amber Rudd and PM Theresa May – had ‘taken exception’ to it politically:

Credit to @benphillips76 for the video find – video created by @imajsaclaimant

Asked by one MP whether she had denounced the report, one civil servant responded that she had not – and was challenged by committee chair Frank Field: “Your Secretary of State did – now you’re calling it in evidence”.

After his tour of the UK, Alston’s stated among other things that the government could fix poverty ‘overnight’ and ‘at very little cost’ if it chose to, that the government’s policies were ‘cruel and inhuman’ on a level equivalent to those in China – and that Tory policies could have been designed by misogynists, so damaging are they to women and their children. He also said that the Tories effectively tell people at their most vulnerable, “You’re on your own”.

Now senior civil servants in the responsible department have had to confirm that Alston was not exaggerating – and that ministers have objected out of political motivation.


No change of Tory PM is going to make a jot of difference to the terrible suffering – identified as needless and easily fixed – being imposed daily on literally millions of our children and most vulnerable. Nor will remaining in the EU, since those privations were imposed while the UK is an EU member.

Their only hope is a general election and a Labour government.

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  1. Stop sanctions, ask is it acceptable to leave people with nothing, what is the minimum level of income per week that someone needs to barely survive
    Agree no one can be allowed to drop below this in any circumstances
    Sanctions and UC are tip of iceberg

  2. The benefit levels – especially the rent allowances – are simply too low to start with. The many weeks’ wait for payment, the “digital by default”, benefit freezes, and Sanctions are simple cruelty, needlessly inflicted. The “new workhouse” effect was something those of us affected by disability benefit “reforms” saw coming years ago. Let’s not forget that while the blame for the current system is squarely the fault of the Tories, those changes in attitude, including the “scrounger” and “malingerer” narrative was started by New Labour – Cooper, Reeves, and all – and that’s why the fight for the soul of the Labour party can never stop until those who think neoliberalism is ok are rooted out. It is literally a matter of life and death for millions.

  3. The following article is from November 2017, but I assume nothing has changed and, if anything, they’ve got worse. And it isn’t just the disabled who have been affected of course, and the list just goes on and on. Isn’t it time the Equality and Human Rights Commission did a thorough investigation into the Tory Party/Government instead of wasting their time investigating the grossly exaggerated and trumped up and bogus claims about the Labour Party and anti-semitism:

  4. Yes there are 2 welfare states – ours the one for working people – minimal and under attack plus associated with stigma and shame and the upper class one with the rich and better off subsidised to the hilt with tax reliefs etc. and associated with luxury with for example big business corporations in the UK getting £79b a year in tax subsidies and reliefs.
    So not only are the rich and powerful Neo-Liberal capitalist Barbarians legal thieves (they legally nick the surplus value created by diverse working people) they avoid taxes and find tax loopholes to stash cash in illicit offshore bank accounts to avoid giving back to society – perish the thought that the rich – the Real Global Scroungers -pay their fair share to help address homelessness, child poverty, mental health, properly funding the NHS etc. but then again you could almost feel pity (but not quite) for the Right Wing Barbarians-they perhaps know no better.
    As human beings they may as well have never existed!
    Recently read a poem from a late 19thC great socialist pioneer, Tom Maguire from Leeds:
    A New Nursery Rhyme
    ‘Sing a song of England.
    Shivering with cold.
    Doomed to slow starvation.
    By the Gods of Gold.
    See her famished children.
    Hunger-marched and mean.
    Isn’t that a dainty dish.
    To lay before the Queen’

  5. What is also needed is accountability. It’s all very well these civil servants being on record with the Committee admitting the ‘factual accuracy of the UN report. BUT that confirms the deliberate “misleading” of Parliament at the dispatch box by the Secretary of State for DWP and PM about the evidence in that UN report. They must be held to account and face the consequences of their actions. So too must the Chancellor, with his rejection of the idea of dire poverty from that same report. They should all be charged, but we know nothing will happen. They are free to carry on, denying what they don’t like.

  6. Report didn’t go far enough in my estimation.

    Governmentally-approved murder; or at the very least financial terrorism. A modern-day holocaust. The government KNOWS what they’re doing is leading to deaths, but being the shithouses they’re the hide behind ‘a lack of definitive causal effect’ or some such ‘newspeak’ bollocks.

    Anyone who agrees with the govt/dwp about that are not only enabling it, they’re complicit. And so are the dwp staff – from top to bottom – who will no doubt claim the ‘nuremburg defence’.

    To think, this country gave the likes of lord fraud shelter from a similar thing he’s now carried out on the people (of whatever creed, colour or race) of this country.

    Then there’s the likes of hodge who does everything it can to undermine the man who will bring about an end to this current ‘pogrom’ and has the affront to claim she’s the ‘victim’, with that fucking ‘suitcase’ shite?


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