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Plan to cut housing benefit for under-25s to hit 20,000 Scottish children

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Plan to cut housing benefit for under-25s to hit 20,000 Scottish children

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Central Government, Communities

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Over 20,000 Scottish children will be affected if the Chancellor follows up on plans to stop housing benefit for under-25s, new figures have revealed.

George Osborne has hinted that HB for under-25s will be axed in the coming budget as the coalition looks to make a further £25 billion in spending cuts.

But analysis of figures from the Department for Work and Pensions shows there are 20,059 children in the 32,700 Scottish households who would be hit if the benefit was stopped.

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has now written to Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith to set out the implications for Scotland and request a meeting to discuss any proposals.

Sturgeon said: “We are closely monitoring any impacts of welfare reforms in Scotland. Earlier this week George Osborne set out his view that - on the Treasury’s current forecasts - £12 billion of further welfare cuts are needed in the first two years of the next Parliament. He also talked about plans to stop housing benefit for people aged 25 and under.

“Our analysis shows that if housing benefit were to be removed for all under 25s, over 20,000 children in Scotland would suffer as a result.

“My main concern is the risk that this cut would pose to the 20,000 children who would need to be rehoused and would face the prospect of being made homeless. As well as the impact on the children and families affected, the social and economic cost would far outweigh any savings that may be achieved."

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