The false economy of austerity
The National Audit Office report into homelessness lays bare the legacy of human waste caused by the callous indifference and intellectual vacuity of Compassionate Conservatism, a Tory creed – promoted by David Cameron – where responsibility shifted from the state to individuals, families and communities.
Looking at the NAO’s assessment of the cack-handed way that the housing safety net was handled, this “philosophy” appears an empty political slogan designed to shield the Tory party from the charge it was balancing the budget on the backs of the poor. It’s no surprise that a mixture of high rents and welfare cuts put people out on the streets. Rough sleeping more than doubled since 2010. The numbers of households in temporary accommodation rose by 60%.
It is shocking that ministers were not curious about the effects of their policies and did not commission full impact assessments. Nothing but the slogan has changed with Theresa May. Her Homelessness Reduction Act will give councils responsibility for preventing homelessness but offers very little cash to help them to do so. The legacy of Compassionate Conservatism is the very wealthy being cast as victims of government tax collectors while poorer voters are exploiters to watch out for.