Britain’s government is engaged in the steepest deficit reduction of modern times. People are losing, or will soon lose, benefits in the biggest shakeup in the shape and scope of Britain’s welfare state since its foundation more than 60 years ago. A team of reporters from the Financial Times tracks the cuts and their impact in this comprehensive multimedia project.

In this video, Sarah Neville discusses the project. Read her look behind the scenes of the project here.

This report is part of a Pulitzer Center-sponsored project “Britain: Charting the Impact of Austerity.”

UK Censorship and Libel as Oppression

Where writers in the United States are used to having their articles cross-referenced by fact-checkers for accuracy, journalists in Britain have our work picked over by lawyers. I found myself blushing when I explained to fellow writers covering police brutality at Occupy Wall Street that where I come from, it does not matter whether or not what you write is true so much as whether or not it is actionable.

"Actionability, moreover, is relative. It’s about money as well as legality. The decisions writers and editors make about what to publish inevitably depend on whether the potentially aggrieved party is wealthy enough to sue. This means, in practical terms, that journalists can and do say pretty much anything we like about, for example, single parents, immigrants, the unemployed, or benefit claimants. Last year, however, when a group of chronically ill and disabled benefit claimants set up a small website campaigning against Atos Origin, the private company running the controversial new welfare tests, the French company lost no time sending out intimidating legal letters."

—Laurie Penny in The New Statesman