A quote from the Shelter blog in response to latest planned changes to Housing Benefits (BBC link):
Last month’s budget revealed the Treasury’s intention to cut a further £10 billion from the welfare budget. The first reaction in the Shelter office was – how? Housing benefit has already been cut by over £2 billion in the Emergency Budget, in a high risk move that has prompted concerns of rising homelessness. But now the Prime Minister has indicated the Government is prepared to take a wholly more radical approach to welfare cuts.
Downing Street has floated the idea of banning all under 25s from claiming housing benefit. Presumably this would not apply to younger parents, although headline grabbing proposals don’t tend to have the details bottomed out. According to news reports, the Prime Minister wants younger people to return home if they are out of work, like many people working in entry level jobs.
Shelter doesn’t want younger people to move out until they are financially ready. But the Government has to be realistic and accept that staying at home is not an option for everyone. Last year nearly 10,000 households in priority need were recognised as homeless after they were thrown out by their parents. Many more won’t have shown up in the statistics and will have resorted to sofa surfing, hostels or at worst the streets. If a family home is overcrowded it’s not uncommon for older children to be told to leave. Others will have gone through the care system, irretrievably lost contact with their parents or been orphaned. Parents may have downsized or divorced, making it difficult to return.
Perfectly good reaction, but I’m sure more will be said over the next few days / weeks.
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