£2.5bn of aid to Ukraine a stark contrast to crumbs for homelessness epidemic in UK

ON the 12th of January this year, the UK Government announced that a further £2.5bn  would go to Ukraine as part of their military aid which has continued since the start of the conflict in February 2022. In total, the UK Government has pledged over £12bn to assist Ukraine in their defence against the Russian invasion.

It is a stark contrast between the money allocated towards a foreign conflict and the issues faced at home in the UK. The United Kingdom is facing one of the largest homeless epidemics in UK history. Nearly 160,000 families were registered homeless between 2022 and 2023. In 2021, the UK Government allocated £2bn in aid of the homelessness crisis over a three-year period which ends in December 2024. Divided between 650 constituencies it equates to £341,000 a year to tackle homelessness in their area, the price of a 4 bedroom bungalow in Carmarthenshire.

The average cost to build an affordable house in the UK is £150,000. To build 50,000 affordable homes would cost a constituency 7.5billion. These are linear figures that do not account for additional costs and prerequisites, however a bleak indicator of the mindset No.10 has in tackling the crisis we are facing in our streets and cities.

If the £12bn sent to Ukraine were to be allocated over the same two year period to the constituencies across the UK, each constituency would hypothetically have benefitted from over £18.5m in aid toward supporting people suffering from homelessness. For each year, the budget would have been set at £9.25m per constituency across the UK. While these figures are hypothetical and do not take into account other costs, they do show that there is money available to improve the situation in our own country, if only the UK Government would allocate it in the appropriate measure.

While some may agree with the financial aid as supporting the under-dog in the largest full-scale invasion of a minor nation since WWII, there is visible criticism and anger over the way in which the UK Government has prioritised the tax payer’s money. Outcry comes from social media as users contrast the tax rises and mortgage bombshells with the latest military aid package.

“Clearly, charity doesn’t begin at home for our Government” says one X user.

“Weapons research alone in the UK gets more Govt money than the entire budget to teach kids music. Priorities” comments another X user.

One Facebook user comments “Sunak should put his own house in order first. The UK is falling apart at the seams. The NHS, transport, police and infrastructure are falling apart.”

In contrast, one user commented “You can count on the UK to fight against evil. The money is well spent.”

While we acknowledge that the money aiding Ukraine comes from the defence budget, there are still decisions being made on how much money should be allocated toward homelessness, the cost-of-living crisis, the healthcare system and the transport sector. That funding allocation is noticeably dwarfed by the money decided on to be sent overseas to the frontlines of a conflict that the UK Government has financially committed itself to aiding.









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