From the 5th to the 16th of November the UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights Phillip Alston made an official visit to the UK. He travelled the country, and spoke to people who were in poverty, many of whom were forced to rely on emergency food aid in order to put food on the table. He has published a preliminary report on his visit, which will be followed by a full report next year.
Among the headline findings of his report he said:
14 million people, a fifth of the population, live in poverty. Four million of these are more than 50 per cent below the poverty line, and 1.5 million are destitute, unable to afford basic essentials.
For almost one in every two children to be poor in twenty-first century Britain is not just a disgrace, but a social calamity and an economic disaster, all rolled into one.
The widely respected Institute for Fiscal Studies predicts a 7 per cent rise in child poverty between 2015 and 2022, and various sources predict child poverty rates of as high as 40 per cent.
There is also criticism of Universal Credit, and Brexit.
You can read the full report on the OHCHR website.
You can read a blog on the preliminary report on the RightsInfo website, and an article in the Guardian. Criticism of the report from Amber Rudd, Work and Pensions Secretary, can also be read in the Guardian.