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Liverpool Council says the PM's government could be breaking international laws on ensuring people are kept out of poverty
Liverpool Council is reporting David Cameron to the United Nations, claiming that his government could be breaking international rules on keeping people out of poverty.
Authority bosses believe the coalition – through its controversial policies such as the hated bedroom tax and welfare reform – could be in breach of the UN economic and social rights convention that sets out minimum standards for access to food, clothing and housing.
Labour members from all parts of the city have spoken of the evidence they have gathered of people who were being forced into degrading poverty because they were being denied access to benefits they desperately needed.
Many are ending up having to resort to what they said was effectively “begging” for food at food banks, the Liverpool Echo reports.
At a meeting this week, councillors heard stories of people stripped of their dole money for up to 16 weeks because they had been late for interviews or had failed to meet the criteria of the government’s Welfare to Work programme.
And they heard claims that in some job centres in the city, suspensions of benefits and other sanctions had risen by up to 500% since 2012.
But the government has hailed the removal of benefits from people who “aren’t pulling their weight” as evidence that the “something for nothing” culture was being tackled.
Cabinet member for children’s services in Liverpool Cllr Jane Corbett, who brought forward a motion along with Croxteth Cllr Barry Kushner, said: “We were elected to represent the people of Liverpool and speak up for them, fight for justice for them to make sure their voices are heard.”
In a rare moment of cross-party unity, Lib Dem Cllr Pat Moloney said: “It is the moral purpose of government to protect its citizens ... and to keep them out of hunger and worse.”