In a controversial move, the Government is to change the status of people living rough across the UK.
The proposal from Iain Duncan-Smith, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, would see everyone who is currently registered as homeless with hostels across England and Wales, re-classified as street artists and therefore eligible for grants from Arts Council England.
‘These proposals would allow the homeless a degree of self-determination that they currently do not enjoy.’ Mr Duncan-Smith said. The move is part of the package of cuts being suggested by senior civil servants at the DWP to comply with George Osborne’s desire to see 25% reductions in Whitehall budgets.
If approved, the homeless would be able to register as charities and apply to the Arts Council England for grants based on their ‘unique interpretation of experiencing life without four walls.’
Extra funding would be available for those who wish to urinate in their own clothing, for those who collect plastic bags and others who shout unintelligible comments to passers-by. The Department for the Environment have also confirmed that those who collect plastic bags would be eligible for grants from the recycling budget.