This week it was reported that at least ten UK councils are giving homeless people one-way train tickets to another town where they become another council’s responsibility. This is further proof of the failings of the welfare state. While £3.5 billion is lost to fraud and error and legitimate claimants openly boost about buying ponies, the most vulnerable people are being expelled not helped.
Between April and July councils classified 14,400 households as being statutory homeless. This does not include those deemed not eligible for assistance. Charities believe that the number of people sleeping on the streets is far higher. As the population of the United Kingdom increases less money is being spent on building houses. There are many reasons for this, but also plenty of empty houses, rooms and sites that could be better utilised. Successive governments have set targets for house building and missed them all.
The current government, through one of its many expensive quangos, has allocated £550 million over three years and promised to implement the Homeless Reduction Act which requires councils to provide early support to people at risk of being homeless. A quicker way to help the homeless would be to spend the money on building houses.