THE UN’s findings that poverty in the UK is both ‘systematic’ and ‘tragic’ have revealed the deliberate dismantling of the social safety net.

The final report by Prof Philip Alston has now been published following his visit to towns and cities across the UK.

It makes shocking reading and compares Conservative welfare policies to the creation of 19th-century workhouses.

I was sad but not entirely surprised, to read the findings of Prof Alston’s report which bears out what we are see daily here in Stroud.

This report bears out the findings of other organisations.

Last week’s End Child Poverty report which showed that 21% of children in Stroud are living in poverty.

In Gloucester the figure is even higher, at 29%.

In Stroud the foodbank provided 3607 emergency parcels for around 700 households last year.

One of the things we see time and time again is that Universal Credit does not lift people out of poverty, in fact it makes things worse, and is particularly harsh on single parents.

“My caseworkers tell me they regularly have people call them in tears, quite simply unable to put food on the table.

“In work poverty is a growing problem. People work hard yet struggle to make ends meet.

“Removing public services and the safety net creates misery, distrust and insecurity and we are seeing the consequences in our volatile political climate.

Prof Alston has said that “ideological” cuts to public services since 2010 have led to “tragic consequences”.

Those consequences sadly extend beyond the impact on families and make us all poorer.

As he concludes; “much of the glue that has held British society together since the Second World War has been deliberately removed and replaced with a harsh and uncaring ethos.”