Ending rough sleeping for £110m vs. £500m for Blue Passport – are we morally bankrupt?

The government will spend around £500m on “bringing back” blue passports as part of routine updating of our passports. Many people have seemed more concerned over the colour of their passport than the funding of their local schools, hospitals, and social care.

The Centre for Social Justice wrote a report (March 2016) in which they stated it would cost £110 million to end rough sleeping. “Rough sleeping costs the Government £1bn every year in health, drug rehabilitation and criminal justice spending. The plan to introduce Housing First in the UK would cost the Government £110 million a year, but would pay for itself within three years.” Despite the incentive of spending just over a 1/10 already spent on rough sleepers to potentially drastically decrease the £1bn bill the government pays on rough sleeping, there seems to be no plan to rehouse rough sleepers by the government.

In terms of the Blue Passport saga, the Tories seemed rather excited. Conservative MP Andrew Rosindell, chairman of the Flags and Heraldry Committee, stated that:

“It’s a matter of identity. Having the pink European passports has been a source of humiliation. It merged us into one European identity, which isn’t what we are.”

“The old dark blue design was a distinct, clear and bold statement of what it means to be British, which is just what our citizens need as they travel abroad after Brexit.”

Jeremy Corbyn responded to Rosindell’s comments:

“The real source of humiliation is a Government worrying about the colour of our passports while a social care and NHS crisis rages.”

It has also been pointed out we could have changed the colour of our passport without leaving the European Union. The embarrassment continues.

By Berk Bektas

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