UN Expert: Lives Will Be Lost If Benefits and Wages Don’t Rise in Line with Inflation

The United Nations’ Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights Olivier De Schutter has warned governments across the world to increase benefits and wages in line with inflation – or “lives will be lost”.

In a stark address at a Council of Europe event in Strasbourg, France, he said: “It is not hyperbole to say that unless governments increase benefits and wages in line with inflation, lives will be lost.

“Whether in Europe, where inflation has hit a record high of 10%, or sub-Saharan Africa where food prices have surged by nearly 24%, household budgets across the world are being stretched beyond breaking point, meaning even more people in poverty will starve or freeze this winter, unless immediate action is taken to increase their income.”

Mr De Schutter also said the crises of the coronavirus pandemic and rising inflation are expected to cause an additional 75-95 million people to fall into poverty this year.

He also urged governments to insulate homes quickly ahead of winter in the Northern Hemisphere, saying: “Insulating people’s homes to keep them warm and safe is not rocket science, and failure to act in this area is simply down to a lack of political will.

“Not only will doing so reduce the energy bills of low-income households, it will also considerably reduce carbon emissions.”

In our turn, we hail Mr De Schutter’s statements and we stress the urgent need for action to help support the needy people around the world in light of the growing global inflation resulting from the Ukrainian-Russian war.

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