£66,000. That is the shameful amount allocated by central government to Hull City Council for the purpose of helping the city's growing legion of homeless for the next year.
Of course, the government will wring their hands, and purse their
lips, but in reality, they will only ever pay lip service to the underclass who are so despised by those occupying the seats of power.
Many of you will be shrugging at this, but allow me to put this funding allocation into perspective.
* City of York were allocated almost TEN TIMES the amount that Hull received.
* The major hostel in Hull that co-ordinates services for the homeless, William Booth House, estimates that it would exhaust the grant for the ENTIRE YEAR in only SIX WEEKS!
* The grocery allowance paid to an MP is currently £160 PER WEEK!
(My wife and l have a toddler, a perpetually hungry dog, and a 2nd child marinating nicely, and l am struggling to understand quite how someone reasonably spends £160 on a weekly shop, nevermind the justification for such state-sponsored excess!)
The amount of money that this government thinks is adequate to manage the complex, and long term issues affecting Hulls' homeless for the entirity of 2013 would not even pay for the grocery bills of our millionaire Parliamentarians for ONE WEEK!
(I know that there are price differentials between Westminster and West Hull, but surely even the most privilege-soaked, public school 'Reuben' wouldn't think that the north is that cheap??)
Not only is this a sad endightment of the current political system, whereby those not within the gaze at Drewery Lane Threadneedle Street and Pimlico simply do not matter, it is also indicative of the Yawning chasm that continues to exist between those who legislate over our lives from as positions of profound and embedded influence, as well as pointing to a tendency for those in government to forgot about those of us living and struggling on the north banks of the Humber.
With specific regard to the issue at hand, this government, along with it's predecessors, need to get real about both the scale of the homeless issue within society, and about the effect that THEIR policies are having.
The regions are suffering. People are losing jobs, homes, and families as a result of this zealous, toxic austerity.
Hull is one of the worst victims of Tory ineptitude.
The number of people sleeping rough on the street wiIl only multiply as yet more government cuts start to bite.
What the government are doing is slapping Hull in the face twice.
Firstly by condemning not only us, but also our youth to a future stripped of hope and fair wages, dooming many businesses and causing honest, decent people into homelessness, and secondly by tying the hands of those tasked with clearing up the mess that such senseless economic apartheid causes.
Thatcher began the process of taking from us our industry.
Cameron is now finishing the job by stripping from our children their aspiration, and from the homeless, desperate and vulnerable, any flicker of light that may at one time , have given even brief illumination in the depths of a very dark and very long tunnel.