Sunday, 16 June 2024

News From Nowhere – Poverty & Homelessness in Britain & Éire

NATIONAL LIBERALS believe that everyone – regardless of wealth or social background – has the right to decent housing, proper medical care and generous provision for old age.’

The UK Conservative Party (left) and Éire’s Fine Gael (right) are brothers-in-arms when it comes to homelessness.

TOWARDS THE END OF LAST YEAR we featured an article –


of-capitalism – which looked at the plight of those who found themselves homeless in Tory Britain.

Our article was based on the housing charity Shelter’s third annual analysis of homelessness. In 2016, it estimated there were 255,000 homeless people in England alone, a figure it subsequently adjusted to 294,000 for Britain. This rose to 307,000 in 2017. When the 2018 analysis was conducted it found that around 320,000 people were homeless in England and Wales. Indeed, the report concluded that real figure is likely to be higher because of the plight of the ‘hidden’ homeless. This would include people ‘such as sofa-surfers, and others living insecurely in sheds or cars, for example.’

Whilst homelessness is at its highest in London, other areas also suffer. Indeed, high rates of homelessness rates were recorded in Birmingham, Luton, Brighton & Hove, Slough, Dartford, Milton Keynes, Harlow, Watford, Epsom, Reading, Broxbourne, Basildon, Peterborough and Coventry.

However, Tory Britain is not the only place people find themselves in dire straits. For a similar situation can also be found across the Irish Sea in Éire.

According to a report –– which appeared in the Irish Examiner also towards the end of last year, around 780,000 people in Ireland are living in poverty – a figure which includes around 250,000 children.

The report – the National Social Monitor – is produced three times a year by Social Justice Ireland, an independent justice advocacy organisation and think-tank.

As well as looking at poverty levels in Éire it also noted increasing waiting times for treatment in hospitals and care centres. Here, the number of people on lists stands at over 700,000. In practical terms, this means that almost 95% of beds are occupied and there is no capacity within the hospital system to cope with ‘unforeseen events.’ The report also highlighted the lack of homecare services for the elderly, people with disabilities and with mental health needs.

Homelessness is another huge problem.

The National Social Monitor found that more than 11,000 people are homeless and that almost 110,000 households are in need of social housing.

At the moment Leo Varadkar’s Fine Gael government is focusing on short-term housing solutions provided through the private rented sector, rather than the investment of capital spending in social housing. Varadkar claims this is helping with an economic ‘recovery’ – however, his critics claim that massive profits are being made by ‘vultures and developers’ at the expense of ordinary people.

The issue of homelessness in Éire was also brought into sharp focus by a more recent report –– produced by Focus Ireland.

Focus Ireland is a not for profit organisation which works with people who are homeless or at risk of losing their homes across Ireland:

‘We are driven by the fundamental belief that homelessness is wrong. Wrong because it is a failure of society that creates victims out of ordinary people and robs them of their potential. Wrong because it can be prevented, it can be solved but is allowed to continue and in doing so, undermines society’.

Taking part in Facebook’s #10YearChallenge, it revealed that homelessness in Dublin has rocketed by 420% in the last ten years. The capital city now has 1,296 families registered as homeless.

Focus Ireland has also echoed existing criticism of Varadkar’s Fine Gael government and has called for more social housing to be built. Such a move would help those in difficulty by reducing demand for private rented accommodation and easing rents.

  • Print
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Add to favorites
  • blogmarks
  • Blogosphere
  • Google Buzz
  • PDF
  • email
  • Live
  • MSN Reporter
  • MyShare
  • MySpace
  • Technorati

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.