Whenever I go to London as I did this week, I’m always upset to see how many are (still, in the world’s 6th largest economy) living on the streets. Those numbers have increased over 25% in the last year. And that’s just those who at the very bottom of rock bottom, actually sleeping in filthy doorways, not the homeless who manage to find a hostel bed and soup kitchen of an evening. A volunteer who’s been helping to feed the homeless of Swindon for some years (our very own Donna) has in recent weeks seen parents arriving to feed their children alongside what we used to call the ‘down and outs’. And a teacher in a not particularly deprived area told me that parents are coming to her school to ask for a school meal. Interestingly, our Levelling Up Minister this week proposed that parents of truanting children could have their benefits cut. Perhaps offering them free school meals too might be the carrot to match that rather mad and heartless stick. Anyway, if Rishi can sort, as he claims to have, the Northern Ireland Protocol, then feeding both the homed and homeless should surely not be beyond his genius. Rant over.
Here’s a future problem that will doubtless be kicked down the road until it becomes a crisis. There’s a whole generation who may never be able to afford to buy their own homes.