A HAMPSHIRE MP is demanding action to help cut homelessness in the face of figures showing the number living rough on the streets has risen nearly 40 per cent.

Southampton Itchen representative John Denham, pictured, said he has been angered at swingeing cuts to council budgets by the Government, which he said have forced local authorities including Southampton to slash their building plans and rough sleeping support programmes.

The Labour MP said he believes there needs to be a co-ordinated approach to provide more affordable housing and give a jobs guarantee for young people.

Mr Denham said: “It’s a tragedy that at this time of year so many families will be without a permanent roof over their head and an increasing number of people will be sleeping out on our streets.

“The Government can act to change this and it means they have to change their priorities.

“As a result of their failed economic and housing policies to date, house building is down, homelessness is up, we have a mortgage market where people can’t get mortgages and rents are unaffordable for too many in the private rented sector.

“Instead of cutting taxes for millionaires, I want to see changes brought in to reverse the long-termdamage to our economy that this Government’s policies are causing.

“Increasing homelessness is the most heart-breaking of of consequences of this Government."