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Tory figures on rough sleeping total less than 20 per cent – one fifth – of the actual number, according to research. They have been lying to us.

Even if this is an honest mistake, it shows us that the Conservative government is incompetent.

The Tories have been using a “snapshot” which shows the number of people found to be sleeping rough over a particular night. The latest figure to be reached by this method found 4,677 people, in 2018.

But a Freedom of Information request asking local authorities how many rough sleepers they had on their books found that the total was 28,000 – more than five times as many.

The Tories fix their targets on eliminating rough sleeping – and set their budgets for that purpose – on the basis of the smaller figure.

This means they cannot hope to solve the problem of rough sleeping, using their current methods.

It also means they’ve been selling us a pup – putting forward a falsehood that we are asked to believe in order to feel that genuine progress is being made. It isn’t.

The New Labour government of 1997-2010 actually did cut homelessness, by more than half.

But since David Cameron, Theresa May and now Boris Johnson took over, homelessness has skyrocketed.

And now we know they have been hiding the true extent of it from us.

Amazingly, the Conservatives are sticking by their figures, saying they are “confident our independently verified snapshot provides a good estimate of the numbers of people sleeping rough on a given night”.

Labour has asked the UK Statistics Authority to investigate the accuracy of the Tory statistics.

Shadow Housing Secretary John Healey said, “The Conservatives can’t begin to fix the problem when they won’t admit the scale of it.”

That is the fact of the matter. And how many other statistical lies are the Tories foisting on us?

Source: Official government statistics grossly underestimate England’s rough sleeping crisis, new figures show – Welfare Weekly

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