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Inhumane austerity measures in UK made millions poor: Expert

Marcus Papadopoulos, a British publisher and editor at the Politics First website

Despite the United Kingdom being one of the wealthiest countries in the world, it has unbelievably high levels of poverty among its people, an expert says.

“Britain has a remarkably high level of poverty. It is estimated that there are 14 million British people living in poverty. It is believed that there are four million British children living below the bread line,” said Marcus Papadopoulos, a British publisher and editor at the Politics First website on Wednesday.

The expert told Press TV that such high levels of poverty created an “absolutely intolerable situation” in Britain given the country’s huge wealth.

Papadopoulos said much of the poverty in British society was related to the “brutal and inhuman austerity measures” introduced in 2010 by the coalition government of the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives.

He said despite the fact that everyone agreed at the time that spending cuts were needed, the coalition government implemented them "savagely."

“Everyone accepted the cuts at the time but what the two parties introduced was blanket cuts,” said Papadopoulos, adding that the Conservatives have kept in place those cuts over the past years, creating a situation in which the most vulnerable people, including the poor, the elderly and the disabled “are suffering on an immense scale”.

He said the government has continued to spend lavishly on the military and international conflicts over the past years despite the austerity.

“The British government finds vast amounts of money for supporting terrorist groups in Syria, for example the White Helmets. They find hundreds of millions if billions to maintain Britain's nuclear deterrent system, the Trident. The British state finds tens of millions of pounds for a royal wedding,” said the expert, calling poverty in Britain “a national disgrace” which the Brits remained unaware of due to the lack of truly independent media.

A report released Tuesday by the Resolution Foundation, a British think tank, showed that incomes of the poorest households in the United Kingdom slumped again last year. The report said there are over eight million low-and middle-income households in Britain, just under half of which have children.

The report added that the average incomes for all households in 2017/18 increased by just 0.9%, the lowest rise for four years and less than half the average between 1994 and 2007, just before the financial crisis.

It said for the poorest third of households, incomes have actually fallen by up to £150 in the last year, increasing fears for many parents who have responsibilities including buying food for their children and paying the rent.

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