There is no new money to end rough sleeping, Tory minister admits

Rough sleeping : James Brokenshire concedes that much of £100m homelessness fund has been ‘reprioritised’ from existing budgets in his department

There is no new money in the government’s flagship £100m fund to eradicate rough sleeping within a decade, the housing secretary has admitted.

Charities had welcomed the fund as a significant step towards helping the estimated 4,751 people sleeping rough on English streets on any given night.

But speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, James Brokenshire said half of the the cash had been “reprioritised” from existing budgets in his department, while the rest was already going towards rough sleeping initiatives

He told the BBC’s Westminster Hour: “As I understand it, yes, this is new money, which is good news.”

Asked to confirm if the £100m announced today was all ‘new money’, he repeated: “Yes.”

On the same programme, Mr Philp also falsely claimed the number of rough sleepers is now lower than it was when the Tories came to power.

“That number is by the way lower than it was when the last labour government left office in 2010,” he said.

He admitted the figure had gone up in the last year, but claimed: “In recent years it’s been rising but it’s still lower than it was when Labour left office.”

This is untrue.

According to government figures, the number of people sleeping rough was estimated at around 1,768.

The most recent estimate for 2017 was 4,751 – a total estimated increase of 169% since the Tories came to power.

Estimated number of rough sleepers in England

Labour’s Shadow Housing Secretary John Healey MP said: “This is a feeble plan that lacks any urgency to tackle the crisis of rising rough sleeping.

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