HC Deb 07 July 1998 vol 315 cc438-9W
Mr. Flynn

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how much has been spent to deal with problems of rough sleepers in each of the past five years; and what estimate he has made of the total numbers sleeping rough for each of those years. [49182]

Mr. Macdonald

In 1997–98, £2 million was spent on dealing with the problems of rough sleepers through the Rough Sleepers Initiative in Scotland and a further £14 million will be spent in 1998–99 and 1999–00. There was no specific allocation of funds to help rough sleepers before 1997–98. There is no overall estimate of the numbers of rough sleepers in Scotland. One-night counts of rough sleepers, carried out by 17 local authorities between 1996 and 1998 identified 150 rough sleepers but this is unlikely to be a reliable guide to the overall size of the problem.