On last Sunday’s Andrew Marr Show Iain Duncan Smith said that homelessness had not risen since he implemented savage Housing Benefit cuts like the Bedroom Tax and Benefit Cap. Even for a politician this was a breath-taking lie.
Every possible measure of homelessness has risen since the current Government weren’t elected. The number of homeless families has soared by 27% and charities say the problem is far greater than even this, attacking the figures as no longer reliable. The number of people sleeping on the streets has leapt by 50% and is now at the highest ever recorded level. It is shocking that a Secretary of State can so openly attempt to deceive the public and astonishing that a highly experienced poltical interviewer like Marrs would let him get away with it.
According to a recent report produced by charities working on the front line, Iain Duncan Smith’s welfare reforms are driving the rise in homelessness. Perhaps of most concern is that just one in ten local authority homelessness managers who were surveyed for the report believed that the impacts of benefits cuts had largely ‘run their course’. Most believed things are set to get worse over the next two years. Soaring rents, shrinking benefits and the threat of further cuts to come could yet create a homelessness crisis on a scale rarely if ever seen before in the UK.
On Wednesday April 15th a March for the Homeless will take place in Ireland, Scotland, England, Canada and the USA. In London a mass rally will be held in Whitehall from 6pm with music, speakers, a free shop, street kitchen and more. Please help spread the word, for more info visit: http://streetskitchen.co.uk/?p=2072
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