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HOMELESSNESS could be eradicated with just 5 per cent of the budget allocated to renewing Trident, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) said today.
The organisation responded to the Budget by highlighting the “upside-down” priorities of the government, which continues lavish spending on weapons while “people die in the streets.”
It instead called for a people’s Budget which would scrap the government’s £205 billion renewal of the country’s nuclear weapons programme and instead spend the money on eradicating homelessness.
Based on a report by homelessness charity Crisis, the CND argued that this could be done at a cost of £10bn — about 5 per cent of the Trident budget.
“It tells you everything about the priorities of this government that they won’t even contemplate such a plan,” CND general secretary Kate Hudson told the Morning Star.
“Instead, over £205bn is being poured into a bottomless pit while people are dying on the streets each week.
“We need a people’s Budget that prioritises the real social and security needs of our population. That’s not what we heard from the Chancellor.”
Delivering his first Budget today, Chancellor Rishi Sunak promised £650 million to help rough sleepers into permanent accommodation.
But this falls far short of the £10bn that Crisis has estimated is required to tackle the problem.
Crisis chief executive Jon Sparkes said: “Missing from today’s Budget is bold action to prevent people from being forced onto the streets in the first place, such as clear targets for increasing the supply of social housing and restoring housing benefit to cover the cost of rent.
“Rough sleeping is the most brutal and devastating form of homelessness and while the additional funding announced to tackle this is much needed, a dark cloud remains over the government’s ability to end rough sleeping within this parliament without tackling its root causes.”
Last month, it was revealed by the Pentagon — before MPs had been informed — that Britain will collaborate with the United States on a new fleet of nuclear submarines.
The Ministry of Defence has kept quiet about the true cost of this programme.
In 2016, then defence secretary Michael Fallon put the sum at £31bn, but this only took into account the cost of replacing the four nuclear submarines and not other parts of the programme.
CND estimates the true cost, including maintenance over Trident’s 30-year lifespan, to be £205bn.
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