A homelessness crisis that will see 100,000 children spend Christmas Day in temporary accommodation “shames us all”, Labour has said.
Shadow housing minister John Healey said homelessness should not be inevitable in a country as prosperous as the UK as Labour called on the Government to end rough sleeping.
The frontbencher insisted that while all of society should be ashamed of the number of people sleeping in shop doorways and on park benches, “it should shame Government ministers most of all” as he blamed Tory policies for increasing levels of homelessness.
“With 10 days to go before Christmas, a record number of homeless people are sleeping on our streets, in shop doorways and on park benches,” said Mr Healey.
“More than 100,000 children will spend Christmas Day in temporary accommodation; children with no home, young lives scarred by insecurity and impermanence.
“This shames us all. Homelessness is not inevitable in a country as decent and as well-off as ours and this is a problem we can solve.
“We know what works because we have done it before.”
Leading an opposition day debate on the subject, Mr Healey laid the blame for increasing homelessness on the doorstep of the Conservatives.
“Rough sleeping fell by around three quarters under Labour,” he said.
“It has doubled under the Conservatives since 2010.
“The number of households accepted legally as households fell by two thirds under Labour but has risen by nearly half since 2010.
“The total number of children in temporary accommodation has risen every year since 2010 to over 100,000 in England and 120,000 across the UK.”
Picture: A homeless child sits inside an empty box as he plays at a park. (AP Photo/A.M. Ahad).