America’s Poor Becoming More Destitute Under Trump, Says UN Expert

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Almost 41 million people or 12.7 per cent live in poverty, 18.5 million in extreme poverty, and children account for one in three poor, said UN expert Philip Alston. — Reuters

President Donald Trump’s tax reform awarded “financial windfalls” to the mega-rich and large companies, further increasing inequality, says report.

GENEVA (Reuters) — Poverty in the United States is extensive and deepening under the Trump administration whose policies seem aimed at removing the safety net from millions of poor people, while rewarding the rich, a UN human rights investigator has found.

Philip Alston, UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty, called on authorities to provide solid social protection and address underlying problems, rather than “punishing and imprisoning the poor”.

In a report, Alston said that as welfare benefits and access to health insurance were being slashed, President Donald Trump’s tax reform awarded “financial windfalls” to the mega-rich and large companies. Extreme poverty in the United States, however, is not new. Alston said US policies since Presi­dent Lyndon Johnson’s war on poverty in the 1960s have been “neglectful at best”.

“But the policies pursued over the past year seem del­iberately designed to remove basic protections from the poorest, punish those who are not in employment and make even basic health care into a privilege to be earned rather than a right of citizenship,” Alston said.

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