Video: May declines to pledge even one fewer homeless child by xmas 2018 #PMQs

Christmas present – and future?

In Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs) today, Jeremy Corbyn highlighted the fact that 128,000 children will be homeless this Christmas and asked Theresa May the simple question whether she would pledge that fewer will be homeless by next Christmas.

In response, May made a startling admission – that in spite of the huge increase in the number of homeless children, her government only intends to do what what it has already done.

Which has resulted in a huge increase in homelessness.

Here’s the exchange:

May lists:

  • a measure allowing councils to put people into private rented acommodation that has been in place since 2011
  • a previous change to the law supposed to prevent families with children living in ‘bed & breakfast’ (B&B) accommodation ‘except in an emergency’
  • the Homelessness Reduction Act (HRA) – which became law seven months ago

The first two measures clearly have not prevented a massive increase in homelessness and particularly in the number of homeless children, since both have continued to go up.

Homelessness has risen by 50% since the Tories entered Downing Street, as Full Fact has shown:

ff homeless

And as Corbyn pointed out, that increase has been faster among children, with an increase of 60%.

The only measure she might try to argue is new is the HRA. Although this came into law more than seven months ago, the Tories do not intend to implement it before April next year. However, the Act – which was not even a government measure but rather began as a private member’s bill – does not add a single new home or guarantee a single extra person finding one – and as the Daily Mirror pointed out, the government only funded 199 homes in six months:

dm 199.png

Instead, it places a responsibility on local authorities to offer ‘information and advice’ to homeless people for a longer period than under current legislation. As a briefing by homelessness charity Homeless Link makes clear,

hra 20

Housing authorities merely have to provide ‘support’ in the form of help to create a ‘personalised housing plan’ that is supposed to help homeless people find a home – but do not have to provide one.

The Act does require local authorities to provide temporary accommodation – which means the person or family is still homeless – but only to people in ‘priority need’. In other words, the ‘B&B’ accommodation that huge numbers of children are stuck in this Christmas will qualify.

The thing conspicuous by its absence in Mrs May’s ‘response’ was the one thing Corbyn actually asked her – there was no promise to make sure that fewer children will have be ‘without a home to call their own’ by Christmas next year.

Not even one fewer.

Instead, based on Mrs May’s ‘response’ at PMQs today, all that will stand between the tragedy of Christmas 2017 or worse becoming the disaster of ‘Christmas Future’ is some ‘information and advice’.

Information and advice that she doesn’t even appear to have enough confidence in to make a promise of ‘fewer’ children being homeless by this time next year.

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  1. If she’s only prepared to do what she’s doing already, we can only conclude that the only thing May IS prepared to do is make even more children homeless by next Christmas … yeah, that sounds like her … unless she’s been relieved of her duties by then, of course

  2. I don’t remember beggars being on the street until Thatcher’s reign of terror in the 80’s. Why doesn’t Corbyn counter with facts? There are plenty to be had. All she does in response to his questions is throw back Labour statistics. I think he’s to soft on her. Let’s face she is ripe for attack

    1. All the questions and then her answers are pre-scripted.
      Jeremy can’t answer back in the way we would like because he hasn’t seen her script, but she knows what he’s going to say!
      Believe it or not, that’s why they call it PMQT!

  3. I seem to remember the words spouted by so-called Christians,
    “Suffer not little children that come unto thee” Any self-respecting vicar would kick her hypocritical sgragy arse out of the church and give us all some Christmas cheer.

    1. So she says but she isn’t, otherwise she’s be obeying her God who wanted his followers to protect and care for children.

  4. We’re back to the old “Let them eat cake” scenario. Giving councils permission to do lots to reduce homelessness while taking the funding away that would enable them to do it and at the same time forcing more people into a situation where they are forced to choose between surviving and having a home

  5. Conservative Party donors profit from making children and families homeless.

    To stay in power Theresa May must do what her donors tell her to do.

    Therefore Theresa May must believe that making children homeless is a price worth paying for the Tories to stay in power.

    Evil would not be too harsh a term to use to describe her.

  6. I watched, PMQT, I’m surprised you didn’t hear me shouting at her along with the rest of her MOTLEY CREW!
    What an uncaring bunch of “BASTARDS THEY ARE”!
    I believe, they’ll get theirs one day!
    They must have all been, programmed at birth, with the gene, F-YOU JACK, I’M ALRIGHT!

  7. Every Christmas I read ‘Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens and love the line: “Business, business! Mankind (Humankind) is your business!”
    Yet Tories ignore and make worse the conditions of the poor and seem happy with £93b of tax cuts a year for the rich and corporations, £120b in tax avoidance, 10tr dollars stashed globally by the rich offshore – THE UPPER CLASS WELFARE STATE! Perhaps the rich and powerful are THE TRUE LITTLE PEOPLE OF THE PLANET? A Merry Xmas and A Peaceful New Year “To the oppressed and all of those who fight on their side'” ( Paulo Freire). International solidarity!

  8. Terrible reality is that if the number of rough sleepers reduces, it will probably be because of deaths

  9. I don’t understand the level of surprise here – this government has been killing disabled people since 2010 and nobody cares one jot – so why should you be ‘surprised’ at tory responses?


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