Poll finds opposition to housing benefit cut for under-25s
Published by 24publishing for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Central Government, Universal Credit
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More than half (57%) of people surveyed who had an opinion are opposed to proposals by ministers to end housing benefit for most under 25-year-olds, a new poll has found.
The YouGov survey commissioned by single homelessness charity Crisis also showed that nearly three quarters (74%) of those who have an opinion agree with the principle that “people under 25 are adults who should have the same rights and responsibilities as other adults, including accessing benefits if they hit hard times.”
The survey found that, even amongst those who said they backed the cuts, one in three (30%) would not support the policy if it led to an increase in homelessness. Of those that expressed an opinion two thirds (66%) agree that it is “unreasonable” to expect most people aged under 25 who are claiming housing benefit to move back home with their parents.
The Chancellor George Osborne is expected to use the autumn statement on 5 December to announce more welfare cuts, and has, alongside the prime minister, signalled plans to look at a new policy restricting the ability of under 25-year-olds to claim housing benefit.
The new poll findings are being used to support Crisis' No Going Home campaign to protect housing benefit for young adults.
According to figures from the Department for Work and Pensions, currently 380,000 people under 25 claim housing benefit across the UK. Many of these people work, others are looking for work, sick or disabled. More than half are parents bringing up children, Crisis says.
The charity has warned that for some, moving back in with their parents would be impossible. It says that last year ten thousand people were accepted as homeless because their parents would not or could not house them and more than a third of homeless people were aged 16-24.
Crisis chief executive Leslie Morphy said: “The polling results and our campaigners’ personal experiences, show that the majority of the public doesn’t support this unworkable and arbitrary plan to deny housing benefit to under- 25 year olds.
“Young people claim housing benefit because they have to and without it many would be homeless.
“We agree with the public that it is unreasonable to expect most to move back home. Some are escaping abuse and for others there simply isn’t room.”