The BBC claims, in a recent article, that the number of homeless is in fact nearer to 28,000 than the 4,677 government estimate. Anecdotally at least, I have little doubt that the BBC are right.
But the government’s response is what bothers me. The BBC article says:
The government said it was providing £500m this year to tackle homelessness.
This is extraordinarily generous of them – for if the government homelessness figure is right that would mean they are offering about £107,000 for every single homeless person. In most of the country that should buy them a modest single bed flat – mortgage free.
And even if the larger homeless figure is correct that would still give every homeless person almost £18,000 each – generally enough to rent a small house or flat for a year and still have £6,000 for that year’s spending money.
With a stroke of the pen I think homelessness has been solved.
Except that I strongly suspect that this is the government lying to us again – unless, just maybe, it has made a genuine mistake.
Either way it is remarkable and indicative that the BBC undertakes such little government scrutiny that it just parrots whatever it is told.