Squandering sums on Brexit a ‘disgrace’ as homeless die

Attacks on the government over homeless death figures spread from Commons to Lords.

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The House of Lords has heard a government squandering an additional £2bn on no deal Brexit plans is a “disgrace” in the face of nearly 600 homeless deaths in a single year.

Lib Dem Peer Olly Grender said: “Wouldn’t that money be better spent to ensure there are no more deaths on our streets of people sleeping rough?”

Housing minister Lord Bourne referenced the £5m cold weather fund to the House, standing by the standard government line on “complexity” around rising homelessness.

Baroness Grender rejected this fall-back, saying: “When so many people are losing their lives whist sleeping rough, it is a disgrace that (the government) is squandering our money on no deal preparations.

“When homelessness services were in desperate need of more funding, funds found for Brexit could be better spent on a programme to review homeless deaths.”

She added: “It is vital services which help support people sleeping rough who are struggling with issues like substance abuse and mental health that prevent these deaths,” said Baroness Grender.

“When so many people are losing their lives whilst sleeping rough, it is a disgrace that the Conservative Government is squandering our money on no deal preparations.

“The Conservative Government can and must act. Their choices and their policies are leaving people without a roof over their heads and the number is rising.

“It is time they took full responsibility for these shameful figures and made a different decision about where to spend taxpayers money.”

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