Caller grills business minister over Sajid Javid's homelessness claims

5 December 2019, 19:33

This caller relentlessly grilled the business minister over Sajid Javid's claims that homelessness has halved since 2008, when "street homelessness has gone up 165% under your watch."

Rose asked whether Nadhim Zahawi was concerned that the Chancellor, formerly the housing minister, did not know that homelessness had risen 165% since 2010; or whether Mr Javid just "blatantly lied to a journalist."

The Conservatives have since issued a statement saying that the Chancellor misremembered the figures after this morning's interview - Eddie asked if this was enough.

Mr Zahawi responded that despite Mr Javid misremembering, the Conservatives have taken a lot of action to tackle homelessness, including investing £1.2billion in prevention and the passing the Homeless Reduction Act.

"It's a lot of noise that goes around the edges instead of addressing the issue that street homelessness has gone up by 165% under your watch," said the caller Rose, "with very little being said about what's going to be done about it."

Mr Zahawi said that the government are going to "try and learn the lesson" about homelessness
Mr Zahawi said that the government are going to "try and learn the lesson" about homelessness. Picture: PA

Mr Zahawi said that the government are going to "try and learn the lesson" and since focusing on homelessness and initiating programmes, the numbers have started to decrease.

He continued that after having come into office, the Conservative party have "dealt with the financial crisis" and so can now invest more.

Rose questioned why the money coming in from corporation tax, as an example, was not devoted to the most vulnerable in our society; Eddie then read Shelter's figures that child homelessness is the highest it has been in 12 years.

Mr Javid said that these children are in temporary accommodation to which Eddie said, "woop de do."

The business minister agreed that it wasn't good enough but they had to build the economy back up again in order to then invest in housing, which he assured will be happening.

"Well I guess there was very little that could be said that could ever justify those figures," said Rose.