UK's welfare system is cruel and misogynistic, says UN expert after damning report on poverty

Last week, The Times reported that Britain’s welfare system is so sexist it may as well have been compiled by “a group of misogynists in a room,” a UN expert has claimed. Philip Alston, the UN’s rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, warned that poverty in the UK is a “political choice” and that compassion and concern had been “outsourced” in favour of tax cuts for the rich. Alston was particularly critical of universal credit,the controversial benefits system that merges six benefits into one payment, which he said had "plunged people into misery and despair". He said Tory reforms were driven by a “commitment to achieving radical social re-engineering,” and claimed that poverty could be erased if there was the political will to do so. Single women caring for children had been the worst hit by austerity cuts, he found. “There is a really remarkable gender dimension to many of the reforms,” he told a briefing in Westminster. “If you got a group of misogynists together in a room and said ‘how can we make a system that works for men but not women?’ they wouldn't have come up with too many other ideas than what’s in place.”

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