Rishi Sunak is the first Prime Minister since the Earl of Rosebery in 1894 to be completely unelected, by both the people of Britain and his own party. He also happens to be the wealthiest, with a net worth (combined with his wife) of £730 million. We all remember the video of Sunak at a soup kitchen asking a homeless man “do you work in business?” then “what you doing this weekend?”

What's happening?

Shelter estimates that on any night in 2023, over 300,000 people were sleeping rough. Braverman made various comments and incited policy punishing the homeless. Videos of homeless peoples’ tents being thrown into bin lorries in Camden sprung up online in early November. Though Braverman was fired soon after, it’s clear that the current government is not against these cruel policies.

The Criminal Justice Bill’s new legislation proposes to allow the police to tell homeless people to move on or fine them up to £2,500. These fines would ultimately mean imprisonment for the homeless, as they’d obviously be unable to pay this.

Andy O’Rourke, who works for Crisis said that for homeless people, “there is always a route back” and “criminalising that individual just makes that route back so much more difficult.”

Why does this seem Victorian?

The Vagrancy act was introduced in 1824 and gave police the power to arrest and prosecute the homeless.

Between 2019 and 2023, 620 homeless people were arrested under remaining legislation of the original Vagrancy Act, including twenty-nine under 16’s.

Why is there so much homelessness?

This year, legislation will come into place meaning that landlords cannot evict people for no reason. This had been heavily delayed by Tory MP’s, 68 of whom are landlords. In 2020 and 2021, 79% of the homes budget went towards private housing, 21% towards social/ affordable housing. In 2023, 9,500, or 4% of all homes built were socially rented homes. In 2010 and 11 however, 40,000 were built under New Labour, and even in 1993 under Major, 57,000 were built. These numbers show that there are other ways to help people, and penalising the homeless is disgraceful when so many better options exist.

The Government spend around £640 million on the homeless per year, and there are around 30 charities helping the homeless in the UK, so, are the Government doing enough to prevent and keep people from becoming homeless?

But if it's not going ahead, why is it a problem?

Though the plans have been faced by opposition and are therefore not going ahead, our PM has made a genuine attempt at penalising people for being homeless, and this should be enough to see he is unfit for the job. He is amongst the richest in the country, attended private schools and cannot relate in the slightest to the majority of UK citizens (and doesn’t try to.)  We have a Prime Minister, the leader of the people, who doesn’t care about the people.

If you need more reasons: look to the pushing of the Rwanda Bill despite the Supreme Court declaring it unlawful; or the continuing support for Israel despite the IDF having killed over 34,000 Palestinians in the last seven months.