Last night the SKWAWKBOX covered Communities and Local Government (DCLG) Secretary Sajid Javid’s extraordinary attempt to claim credit for Labour’s reduction in homelessness – when it has risen by 50% since the Tories entered Downing Street in 2010:
The DCLG did not respond by the time last night’s article was published. However, it has sent a response this morning – and, remarkably, it has repeated Javid’s disingenuous manoeuvre:
Statutory homelessness peaked in 2003/4 at over 135,000 and the number of households in temporary accommodation also peaked in 2004 at over 101,000 – both current levels are well below these figures.
But we’re clear that there’s more to do. Tackling homelessness is a complex issue with no single solution – that’s why we’re providing over £1 billion up to 2020 for various measures to prevent and reduce all forms of homelessness and rough sleeping. We’re also bringing in the Homelessness Reduction Act – the most ambitious legislation in decades, which will mean the most vulnerable people in society get the support they need earlier.
Just as Javid did, the response benchmarks the peak levels that existed seven years before the end of Labour’s term in office and then – by stating ‘current levels are well below these figures’ – DCLG skips over the fact that all the reduction was under Labour.
As the graph above shows, since 2010 homelessness has increased by 50%.
By referring to ‘statutory homelessness’, the response also echoes Theresa May’s recent, callous outburst during Prime Minister’s Questions, in which she responded to a Labour MP’s question about child homelessness with a remarkable rant about homelessness not being the same as living on the streets, as if that makes it ok:
As ever, the Tories are quick to claim credit for achievements that are not theirs – and to avoid blame for the damage they create.
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