It's easy enough to be generous with other peoples' money

The Labour Party has announced that it will spend £100 million to deal with the curse of rough sleeping in cold weather.

Hahaha, no, of course not. The Labour Party has announced that they will spend £100 million of our money to, well, something, about rough sleeping in cold weather.

Labour has pledged £100m a year in additional help for rough sleepers in cold weather, which the party says is key to reducing the unacceptably high number of homeless people who die each year.


That’s why today I announced that Labour will make emergency accommodation available for every rough sleeper in every area whenever local temperatures are set to fall below freezing. The new national scheme will be funded through a new Rough Sleepers Cold Weather Fund, set at £100m in the first year…

That’s an interesting number. There are, according to the usually agreed numbers, some 5,000 (just to round up a bit) rough sleepers on any one night in the UK. That’s thus £55 per person per night being spent there, not a greatly efficient scheme therefore.

Or, we could say that winter is only one quarter of the year, giving us a cost per person per night of £220 which is when this looks rather more inefficient.

Or perhaps we should look a the number of frost days, which seems to be about 21 at Heathrow at least. After all, they are saying this lodging is to be specially available on frost days. That’s 950 pounds per rough sleeper per night - yes, we’re obviously in the realms of government plans here, aren’t we? Must be to reach that level of inefficiency.

Do note also that this is on top of all of the things already done by government, charity and just plain hearted good folks.

As Milton Friedman pointed out it’s really easy to waste other peoples’ money on other people, isn’t it?