If I may rephrase St Augustine, who said “O Lord, make me chaste, but not yet,” what we have here is a Government saying, “O Lord, make me charitable and compassionate, but not just now. Let’s do it in the future.” It comes to something when the British Government, with an expenditure of approximately £840 billion a year, say that it will be difficult to get statistics, either qualitative or quantitative, from which they can make policy. That is how it seems to me, but I tell you what: every day when I am in my constituency I see people who are homeless. What have the Government done about that? Nothing. I see food banks opening up all the time. What are the Government doing about that? Absolutely nothing. What are the Government doing about the 24% of homeless people who are from the LGBT community? Absolutely nothing. And then we heard the dross coming out—that is what it is, dross—about intergenerational worklessness. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation—through evidence, through statistics, through analysis—found that that was not a significant factor in homelessness. So we hear all this talk about charity, compassion and working together, but I am afraid it does not wash when it comes from the mouths of Tories.
Question put, That the clause be read a Second time.
The House divided:
Ayes 294, Noes 312.