PM takes aim at housing benefit for the under-25s
HOUSING benefit for the under-25s could be scrapped as part of a welfare crackdown.
Prime Minister David Cameron insisted the current system puts out “strange signals on working, housing and benefits”, according to reports last night.
If the plans go ahead, hundreds of thousands of young people could be forced to live with their parents.
As well as scrapping most of the £1.8 billion in housing benefits paid to 380,000 under-25s, forcing them to support themselves or live with their families instead, other measures reportedly being considered include forcing a hard core of unemployed to do community work after two years or lose all their benefits.
Those who are not considered to be trying hard enough to get work could be stripped of Jobseeker’s Allowance.
Cameron said: “A couple will say, ‘We are engaged, we are both living with our parents, we are trying to save before we get married and have children and be good parents. But how does it make us feel, Mr Cameron, when we see someone who goes ahead, has the child, gets the council home, gets the help that isn’t available to us?’
“One is trapped in a welfare system that discourages them from working, the other is doing the right thing and getting no help.”
His comments come ahead of a keynote speech on welfare he is due to deliver next week.
There would be exemptions from the proposal to scrap housing benefit for the under-25s in special cases, such as domestic violence.
Ministers are looking again at plans to limit child benefit to a couple’s first three children, although Cameron will stop short of raising the idea.
He added: “We are spending nearly £2 billion on housing benefit for under-25s – a fortune. We need a bigger debate about welfare and what we expect of people. The system currently sends the signal you are better off not working, or working less.”
Last night, it was revealed that in a new book, the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams said the “Big Society” was seen by many as “aspirational waffle designed to conceal a deeply damaging withdrawal of the state from its responsibilities to the most vulnerable”.
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Thursday 23 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 10 C
Wind Speed: 23 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 4 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 17 mph
Wind direction: North east