Following Chancellor Philip Hammond’s rejection of claims that there are millions of people living in dire poverty in Britain, Imran has invited him to see the impact of poverty first-hand in Bradford.
The Chancellor made the controversial statement during an interview on BBC’s Newsnight, declaring that he rejected the idea that there are vast numbers of people facing dire poverty in the UK, and that he did not accept the report of the UN rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights which found abject levels of poverty in the UK, stating that it was “nonsense”.
The UN rapporteur’s report found that 1 in 5 of the British population totalling around 14 million people were living in poverty, with 1.5 million experiencing destitution in 2017, and claimed that the Government’s “punitive, mean-spirited, and often callous” austerity policies were to blame.
In Imran’s constituency of Bradford East, figures produced by the End Child Poverty Campaign for 2017/18 found that almost half of children are growing up in poverty after housing costs are taken into consideration, rising on figures from two years ago.
Writing to the Chancellor, Imran declared that the comments on Newsnight were “woefully out-of-touch with the daily reality of the situation around poverty” and “at odds with the findings of the UN rapporteur”, which leaves the Chancellor “dangerously complacent about the scale and damage of poverty in Bradford and across the UK”, and he invited him to visit Bradford to see the real-world impact of austerity policies and poverty.
Speaking on the Chancellor’s statement, Imran said:
“These comments by the Chancellor expose just how out of touch this Tory Government is with the lives of ordinary people across the country. Poverty has run rampant following ideological austerity cuts that have run down vital services, and it’s clear the Chancellor is incapable of accepting there is problem, let alone tackling it, leaving people to suffer as he continues to turn a blind eye.
“During his interview, the Chancellor told us to ‘look around’ and that poverty is ‘not what we see in this country’, so with almost half of children in Bradford East growing up in poverty, many in households where parents are actually in work, I want to invite him to come and look around Bradford, and see for himself the scale and damage of the poverty that his Government has imposed upon us.”