(Hills, 2004, p. 52)
The aim was just to eradicate poverty along with the equal inflow of wealth from the rich towards the poor. Despite a number of joint initiatives, which included identification of obstructions and breaking them up, the Government remained unable to achieve the goals even after two years. In 1999, after visualising the slow progress of the work, Tony Blair took an initiative of 'auditing' the nation socially by introducing a new policy based on 'investment and incentives' (SEU, June 2006)
It was in April 2000, that under Blair's Government, analysis was made after which poor communities were identified and action was taken to support them with proper housing and employment. Since May 2002, national governments and regional groupings such as the EU have increasingly recognised growing poverty and exclusion. Reform of public welfare systems and reviews of other challenges to social policy have been high on the policy agenda. Yet few governments, apart from the UK, have recognised the factors associated with that of social exclusion like growth in housing and unemployment.
Social Exclusion - Present Scenario
In order to combat homelessness, UK Government has taken initiatives like in Redbridge; a team has been setup, which is aimed at providing temporary shelter to the homeless people. After providing them such kind of accommodation other opportunities for them are explored, which provides enough time to search for better jobs and opportunities. (Redbridge, 2006a) According to Redbridge, 2006a, the services offered are: "Landlord/ Tenant Negotiation, Housing advice, Housing Benefit advice/ Troubleshooting, rent deposit for priority homeless and legal support to evicted people". (2006a) This is what the Government has aimed so far, now in order to assess for how far the Government has remained true in achieving this aim, let us analyse some of the conditions depicting current scenario of UK streets.
According to Nj.com (Nov 14, 2006), it is assumed by default that thousands of homeless people have been provided with the basic necessities of life like shelter, bed etc; however the condition presents some different facts. Essex County residents were provided assistance since 1996, at that time the number of homeless were 30, 600, today it is 9,800. That does not simply mean that 'homeless assistance' has helped decrease the number of social excluded people more than half percent. (Essex, 2006a) as according to sagepub (2006), "On any one night in the countries of the European Union (with a population of some 340 million people), around l.l million are without homes, up to 5 million are permanently homeless and up to l5 million live in severe housing stress in sub-standard conditions". (Sagepub, 2006a)
The criticism points towards the loopholes of the plan which states that "under Welfare Reform, assistance is provided only for five