Plans to cut benefits for households with unemployed youngsters slammed
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Central Government, Universal Credit
Government plans to cut housing benefit for households that contain young job seekers have been slammed by charities.
The proposals, that are are being voted on today, would see £800 a year in benefits cut from parents or guardians who house jobless under-25s.
Currently the money is only cut if the young person is in employment.
But homelessness charities Crisis and Shelter have warned that with over 600,000 young people unemployed, and rising housing costs forcing more to remain in the family home, that such a move could drive up homelessness.
The latest figures from the Office of National Statistics show one in three men under 34 now lives at home, along with one in six women.
The charities believe that the plans - which would come into force under Universal Credit - are likely to cause tension in the poorest households.
They have also warned that the proposal could cost the taxpayer more money, as under-25s who were living with their parents may have no choice but to make a housing benefit claim of their own.
The charities are now calling on the Government to urgently rethink the proposals.
Leslie Morphy, chief executive of Crisis, said: “With young people already facing high unemployment, now is not the time to be heaping yet more pressure on them and their families. Young people will be forced from their homes before they’re ready and many will end up homeless – costing us more not less.
“Together with the ‘bedroom tax’ this move will mean many parents are penalised whether or not their grown up children move out of home.”
Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter, said: “It’s disgraceful that young people who have to live at home because they cannot afford to live independently should be penalised for it. It will simply leave many young people without a roof over their head.
“In the current economic climate young people need to be supported to get back into work, not forced to bear the brunt of further cuts to the housing safety net. Tragically it seems inevitable that we’ll see an increase in youth homelessness as a result.”