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In a debate on rough sleeping, I challenged the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government to do more to tackle the crisis of debt in the UK that so often pushes people into homelessness.

Rough sleeping in Scotland is at a record low, and the Scottish Government also continues to mitigate the Tories’ deeply unfair Bedroom Tax, helping over 70,000 Scottish Households, and the Scottish Government has also delivered 97,000 affordable homes since 2007, compared with the previous Labour-Lib Dem coalition building just six Council homes in seven years.

The Scottish Government only has limited powers however, and the UK Government must do more to stop people becoming homeless in the first place. Instead of choosing to freeze the local housing allowance for next year, it could be increased, while an extension to the £20 per week uplift to Universal Credit could protect 60,000 Scots from falling into poverty and thereby prevent homelessness. Civilised societies should be measured by how they look after the most vulnerable, and it is clear more needs to be done.

You can watch the exchange below.

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