Today the Conservatives have announced plans that would see the homeless forced to pay council tax, echoing original plans for the Poll Tax.
To little fanfare, a tired and emotional David Cameron took time out from his largely hopeless renegotiation of the UK’s place in the European Union, to announce the new policy to reporters: “For too long, the government has been a soft touch on homelessness.”
“But homeless people use council services too. Local policing costs are expended in maintaining order on the streets, council legal campaigns against soup kitchens cost money, and the hogging of the pavements by the homeless presents huge costs to councils, which could otherwise generate revenue by renting that space. It is, therefore, only fair that the homeless should pay the costs of their homelessness.”
Homeless people will be required to register with their local police force, who will then issue an invoice for council tax, including a small surcharge to cover the additional costs to the police.
When asked how homeless people would be able to afford to pay the tax, a government spokesman said: “In the event that a homeless person’s begging income is insufficient to cover the council tax bill and police surcharge, the DWP will provide advice on how to beg more efficiently”
“In extreme cases, thanks to a landmark agreement between ATOS, Wonga and the DWP, a homeless person may obtain a loan secured against their soul, to be repaid by becoming a tenant in one of the new ATOS workhouses.”
Labour has vowed to vigorously oppose this new policy, a move which some senior cabinet ministers have branded “tantamount to supporting terrorism”.