AMBER Rudd, the UK Work and Pensions Secretary, has been invited to visit Glasgow and hear directly from people living in poverty.

Susan Aitken, leader of Glasgow City Council, wants Ms Rudd to come and see the damage caused by welfare reforms to persuade her to make changes to benefits like Universal Credit and Tax Credits.

Ms Aitken said that 17 years after one of Ms Rudd’s predecessors, Iain Duncan Smith, had his “Easterhouse epiphany” the reforms he implemented have made life more difficult for the very people he claimed he was inspired to help.

She said: “Those who helped facilitate the 2002 visit and hoped for so much from it have been left bitterly disappointed by the persistence of inequalities and are in no doubt that Mr Duncan Smith and the Conservative Party have allowed poverty and despair to take hold in their community for yet another generation.”


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She has told the Cabinet Minister that Philip Alston the UN Special Rapporteur on Poverty and Human rights also visited Easterhouse last year for his report that concluded the Department and Work and Pensions could look to have been “tasked with designing a digital and sanitized version of the nineteenth century workhouse made infamous by Charles Dickens”.

Ms Aitken added that Ms Rudd could come to the city for her own “Easterhouse epiphany” and which she said she hoped would “aid your decision to make the necessary changes to the welfare system including removing the iniquitous sanctions regime, scrapping Universal Credit, the two child cap and the rape clause.”

Ms Aitken said she hoped that Amber Rudd may be more open to recognising the hardship people face and respond positively to it.

She said: “She might listen and accept not everything is perfect.”


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Whilst stating that other areas in the city and across Scotland are experiencing poverty the council leader said that Easterhouse has become a place where people come to see poverty.

She added: “It is depressing.”

She said Prof Alston’s “devastating conclusions” were partly informed by the evidence of what he saw and heard in Easterhouse.

Ms Aitken said: “If he saw that she can see it too.