Tory government cuts are robbing Scotland’s councils homelessness services of at least £20 million a year, the Scottish National Party (SNP) claim. The party says the Conservatives are once again showing a callous approach to society’s most vulnerable people.
The cuts were highlighted in COSLA’s response to the Local Government and Communities Committee’s call for evidence on Homelessness, and will have a devastating impact on homelessness services across Scotland – with COSLA’s evidence suggesting that the shortfall in funding is likely to be “considerably higher” than the predicted £20 million.
“The shortfall in funding, even after distribution of c£22m homelessness funding to councils following the abolition of the TA management Fee, is estimated to be at least £20m per year and likely to be considerably higher.”
SNP say the Scottish Government “has made every effort to support those in homeless situations” – with homelessness applications down in recent years due to the person-centred approach of the Scottish Government.
Additional investment of over £3 billion to build at least 50,000 affordable homes and bring empty homes back into use will also help support those in need of housing, the Party claims.
Commenting, SNP MSP Bob Doris, who convenes Holyrood’s Local Government Committee, said: “These comments from COSLA bring to light once again the very real damage that the UK Tory government is causing in Scotland’s communities.
“We have seen the disastrous impact that their austerity agenda is having on the most vulnerable people across the country – closing job centres, capping social security payments and scrapping housing benefit for 18-21 year olds.
“The shortfall in funding caused by Tory cuts – at least £20 million but likely to be significantly higher – will only damage our communities more and prevent councils from taking the necessary action to support those in need.
“The Scottish Government has made every effort to support those in homeless situations – with homeless applications falling in recent years because of the Scottish Government’s sensible and compassionate approach that puts the interests of people first.
“It is deeply disappointing to see that Tory government cuts are set to once again harm the progress that we are making.”