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A homeless man sleeps rough while shoppers walk past [Image: Alphotographic via Getty Images].

Bravo to Joe Anderson, Labour’s elected Mayor of Liverpool, for telling the Tories to stuff their “unacceptably complacent” policy on homelessness.

And thanks are due to him for the statistic that the average rough sleeper dies before reaching the age of 50.

It tends to confirm This Writer’s belief that the Tory plan to halve rough sleeping by 2022 and eliminate it by 2027 depends on homeless people dying out, rather than being any strategy to help them.

The government’s response to dealing with homelessness and rough sleeping across England has been woeful.

‘Unacceptably complacent’ was the term used. That’s one way of saying that leaving 9,100 human beings to sleep on our streets is a shaming, infuriating disgrace.

Since 2010, the number of households in temporary accommodation has risen by 60 per cent, while the numbers of rough sleepers has soared by 134 per cent since 2011. Most shockingly, the average rough sleeper dies before they reach the age of 50.

Councils are struggling to cope with unprecedented demand for services – with less and less money to pay for them.

We are also expected to ignore part of the problem.

Some of our rough sleepers are asylum seekers and eastern European migrants who have fallen on hard times. In Whitehall-speak they have ‘no recourse to public funds.’ We are supposed to leave them alone.

As the elected Mayor of my city, I won’t be told who I can and cannot help.

I am proud that we spend £11million every year tackling homelessness – intervening early to help families and individuals avoid falling between the cracks – even though our central government funding has been slashed by two-thirds (£470million) since 2010. While our Citizen Support Scheme includes help for people facing benefit sanctions – ensuring they don’t get evicted.

Source: Ministers Can Go And Whistle. All Rough Sleepers Will Get Help In Liverpool


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