Remember the end of last year, when This Site reported a claim by then-Work and Pensions Secretary David Gauke that the Conservatives would halve homelessness by 2022, and eliminate it altogether by 2027?
I said the most likely explanation for this was that they expect homeless people to die.
Once again, it seems the facts have proved me right.
At the time I stated: “Rough sleeping has increased by 134 per cent since the Conservatives took office in 2010, and the number of homeless children has increased by 70 per cent. Both these figures plummeted under the last Labour government, so it is impossible for Tories like Mr Gauke to falsely claim that they are cleaning up Labour’s mess, as they usually do.
“Oh, and the actual homelessness figure is probably much higher than the official statistic, as people have to complete a set number of nights on the street before they are classified as such.
“The simple fact is, there can only be one reason these statistics are worsening: Tory policies are designed to make them worse.”
Now, The Guardian has provided figures that corroborate my claim.
Its article states: “The number of homeless people recorded dying on streets or in temporary accommodation has more than doubled over the last five years in the UK
“With people found dead in supermarket car parks, church graveyards and crowded hostels, the number of deaths has risen year on year, from 31 in 2013 to 70 in 2017. At least 230 people have died over that period.
“The figures compiled by the Guardian, which include an average of more than one death a week in 2017, are likely to be a substantial underestimate, as no part of the UK government records homeless death statistics at a national level, and local authorities are not required to count rough sleeper deaths.
“The average age of a rough sleeper at death was 43, nearly half the UK life expectancy. Around 90 per cent of those who died in the last five years were men, when the gender was provided.”
Look at the vague way the government collects statistics. Not really trying, you see – homeless people don’t count as far as Tories are concerned.
It’s the same with sick and disabled people who are drummed out of the benefit system and forced to live on thin air. When they die of their illnesses or due to suicide caused by despair, the government doesn’t record it – and coroners seem afraid to draw the obvious conclusion and hold the Tories to account.
Some might say there’s an obvious correlation between the increase in the number of deaths and the rise in homelessness – both have more than doubled. But that would be a mistake. We have to consider health issues affecting these people before they lost their homes. Is there a link between Tory hatred for the sick and the deaths of homeless people?
I don’t know. It would be worth researching – but these figures are bad enough, especially in the UK. David Lammy has asked the relevant question:
Why are people dying on the streets of the sixth richest country in the world? Austerity is a political choice. This is a direct result of 40% cuts to council budgets, slashing supported housing, homelessness service and failure to tackle housing crisis. https://t.co/VoZovgpP3M
— David Lammy (@DavidLammy) April 11, 2018
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn agrees:
A deeply sad consequence of the failure of this Tory Government.
We're the fifth richest country in the world and we have the resources to house people, yet our Government chooses to maintain a broken system that only works for the wealthy elite.https://t.co/RwpTmSjpRp
— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) April 11, 2018
Others have been sharper in their criticism:
This is the measure of the lack of compassion and basic decency in Tory Britain. When most households are only 2 pay cheques away from eviction we should remember this on May 3rd.
Tory cuts cost lives.
For the many not the few.https://t.co/m0MsR2ZXGH
— Mark Ingall (@cllringall) April 11, 2018
The absolute national disgrace of this is compounded by its sad predictability. We already KNOW the number of people who are now #Homeless (as well as their level of sheer desperation) has become worse in the extreme because we see it everyday. Tories out!https://t.co/AUTTznwpgI
— James Kennedy (@JamesKennedyUK) April 11, 2018
Yes – that is the answer: Get the Tories out of office.
There isn’t a general election planned this year, but the local elections always serve to send a message to the government.
This is yet another reason to vote against the Conservatives, wherever they currently hold office.
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