UN slams IDS for 'breaking UK's obligation to poor people'
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UN slams for 'breaking UK's obligation to poor people'
Iain Duncan Smith has been slammed for apparently breaking the UK's obligation to poor people, by a group of United Nations poverty ambassadors.
In a 22-page letter, the group says that the coalition government's vast range of benefit cuts may have broken the country's international treaty requirements to the poor.
Work and pensions secretary IDS has fumed that the letter is an "absurd and unwarranted intervention".
The letter has been signed by, among others, Raquel Rolnik, the UN's special rapporteur on the right to adequate housing.
The letter reads: "We would like to bring to your government’s attention information we have received concerning the impact of reductions in public expenditure, in particular to social security, to an adequate standard of living and to equality and non-discrimination, especially for people living in poverty.
"According to concerned sources, the package of austerity measures enacted could amount to retrogressive measures prohibited under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, ratified in 1974."
Chatting with his most ardent supporter, the Daily Mail, IDS raged that the letter is "riddled with faulty logic" adding that "they talk down our country, criticising the action we’ve taken to get control of the public finances and create a fairer more prosperous Britain".
The former Tory leader said that the group "simply do not have clue" and that the government would not be "taking lessons from a group of unelected commentators who can't get their facts right".
The letter was sent to the UK's ambassador to the UN, Karen Pierce, and lists the government's many moves to curb benefits.
Brazilian Ms Rolnik composed a report on the government's controversial bedroom tax earlier this year, after a lengthy investigation.
The report heavily criticised the under-occupancy policy, concluding that it was affecting the UK public's "right to adequate housing".
The findings angered Housing Minister Kris Hopkins who labelled it a "misleading Marxist diatribe".
Ms Rolnik has sometimes been described as the "Brazil Nut" in the right wing press, which has often been annoyed at her activities, and has variously accused her of holding extreme political views and witchcraft.