08:57 GMT +317 November 2019
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    A homeless person sleeps rough near Windsor Castle in Windsor, England

    Ejecting Homeless With Fines Before Royal Wedding 'Makes No Sense' - Charity

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    LONDON (Sputnik) – The Windsor Council's move to fine homeless people across the United Kingdom in a bid to crack down on rough sleeping before the Royal Wedding has "gone from the already ridiculous to the even more ridiculous," Murphy James, spokesman for the Windsor Homeless Project, told Sputnik.

    The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead announced plans to introduce 100 pound (some $140) fines for rough sleeping within several months. The decision was announced in the lead up to the Royal wedding between Prince Harry and US actress Meghan Markle scheduled for May.

    "It doesn't make any sense, does it? I mean you're fining somebody who has no money to pay, so they'll be taken to court and of course the fine will be increased, the person convicted, sent to prison and just end up in exactly the same position they're in now … It's gone from the already ridiculous to the even more ridiculous scenario of expecting a fine to suddenly make people disappear from the streets. It's disgraceful," James said.

    READ MORE: A Princely Price: Who Foots the Bill for Britain's Royal Wedding?

    The issue of homelessness has become acute in the United Kingdom in the recent years. According to the non-governmental organization Homeless Link, a combination of economic turmoil and a lack of social housing projects have ensured a rise in rough sleeping by 134 percent since 2010.

    In addition, many experts link the problem to the changes to welfare laws made by the UK government in 2013. People living in social housing had their housing benefits cut by 14 percent if they had a spare bedroom, or by 25 percent if they had two or more, thus creating a hostile environment for homeless people.

    A report released last August from the homeless charity Crisis also confirmed a deteriorating situation, with rough sleeping predicted to increase by 76 percent over the next decade if appropriate remedies are not introduced.

    The views and opinions expressed by the contributors do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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