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Flawed Algorithm Used to Determine U.K. Welfare Payments Is 'Pushing People Into Poverty'


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Human Rights Watch warns a flawed algorithm for calculating monthly social security benefits in Britain is causing hunger, debt, and psychological distress.

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Human Rights Watch warns a flawed algorithm for calculating monthly social security benefits in Britain is causing hunger, debt, and psychological distress.

The model measures changes in individuals' earnings to dole out payments, but the non-governmental organization said the algorithm only analyzes wages people receive within a calendar month, and ignores frequency of payment.

This means people who get multiple monthly paychecks can have their earnings overestimated, with their welfare payments dramatically reduced as a result.

Human Rights Watch’s Amos Toh said, "The government's bid to automate the benefits system—no matter the human cost—is pushing people to the brink of poverty."

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