The 120,000 children across the UK without a home this Christmas ‘shames us’, according to top Labour MP.
Secretary of State for the Labour party, John Healey, revealed that there will be 120,000 children without a home this Christmas. ‘For me that shames us, as a decent well-off country like Britain’, he said.
He continued, ‘My argument to Conservative ministers is that it does not need to be like this.’
National homeless charity Shelter, recently released a report that stated that there will be nearly 2,000 children in Kent without a home on Christmas day this year. The charity described the figures as a ‘national scandal’ while it struggled to deal with the number of children aged under 18 without a permanent roof over their heads, in a decade.
The figures showed that Medway tops the list with 619 homeless children, followed by Ashford with 221, Dartford with 189, and Thanet with 187.
When asked what his opinion was on the report, he said ‘Many of the reasons why the numbers are rapidly rising is directly as a result of firstly, the 13 cuts to housing benefit that we’ve seen over the last 13 years.’
He continued, ‘they could be doing a great deal more. First of all, they could stop some of the policies that are causing problems and responsible for the rapidly rising numbers. Secondly, there’s a refusal to act to give people proper rights when they’re private renters.’
Mr. Healey explained that there has been a large cut in Government’s investment into building new council and low cost renting homes within the UK. He explained, ‘In the end we can’t help the homeless unless we have more homes.’
They need to recognise that you can’t fix the housing crisis unless government plays a bigger part in. (put in quote bubble)
When asked how the issue could be improved, John said ‘one of the first things they did seven years ago was slash by 60% what government was putting in to help build the new low cost homes that we need, they need to do that again because that’s part of the long- term solution.’
John explained that Government need to stop a number of the policies that are causing problems and are responsible for the rapidly rising numbers of homeless people. He said, ‘they really do need to do much more to see that the support that services like this get, front line services dealing with the toughest, most visible age of the failures in housing system, most people sleeping on the streets, in the middle of December.’
Watch the full interview here.