25/10/2017 19:49 BST | Updated 26/10/2017 05:23 BST

Campaigning MP Urges Specific Funding For Women’S Refuges

People’s lives are at risk because women’s refuges do not have a specific and sustainable form of funding, a Labour MP has said.

Jess Phillips said the issue needed to be addressed next week when ministers unveil detailed plans for the future of supported housing.

The Birmingham Yardley MP, an outspoken campaigner on issues around domestic violence, said: “What I want to see on Tuesday is a sustainable, long term, more than five years in a term, like we have all voted for us to all have an extra five-year term, how about we give that to them?

“We need a specific funding model for refuge, because without it people die.”

Ms Phillips said one in four women were being turned away from refuges, adding: “I recall after the most recent general election…the Prime Minister commiserating with her colleagues who had lost their jobs and lost their seats, and how difficult that must have been for her to cause the demise of her colleagues to lose jobs.

“Where I worked, every single year in January I had to put every single member of staff on notice, every single member of staff given a notice warning that their job might not be there in March because we live hand to mouth on year-on-year funding.

“This is not a way I would operate my household income, it is not a way you should operate an organisation and it is not what the Government should want for the most vulnerable people in society.

“And that is what is happening in every charity in the country at the moment who are in supported housing.”

Ms Phillips said it was “utterly shameful” that Local Government minister Marcus Jones had stood at the despatch box and said he knew demand for supported accommodation was going to rise.

She added that Universal Credit was only going to make the issue worse, with concerns over the fact payments only go to one member of a household and the impact this could have on those suffering domestic violence.

The Labour MP said the Department for Work and Pensions was not collecting data on the issue and “turning a blind eye to a group of people who are so vulnerable”.