Shelter responds to Conservative welfare reform plans

8 October 2012

George Osborne

In his speech at the Conservative Party Conference today, the Chancellor George Osborne revealed plans to cut a further £10 billion from the welfare budget.

His proposals included a potential cut to housing benefit for under 25s, an idea that was raised by David Cameron earlier this year and has been widely reported by the media.

In response to the coverage Campbell Robb, Chief Executive of Shelter said:

‘Most under 25s who can live with their parents already do so. Being under 25 is being used as shorthand for people who don’t have responsibilities or adult commitments, whereas in reality more than half of young people who claim housing benefit already have a family of their own.

‘Others have left home to get married, moved for job opportunities or escaped serious problems in their family home.

‘For the small number of single young people renting privately and claiming housing benefit, it is mainly used as a short term safety net. Six in ten will be on benefits for less than six months while they are unemployed and look for work. 

‘Many will have been paying into the system through their years of employment, only to be told that it will give them nothing back when they need it most.

‘Young people are already facing an incredibly tough time, with high unemployment, rising living costs and flat-lining wages for those lucky enough to have a job. Removing such a vital source of support will be a huge blow for young people struggling to set themselves up in life.’

Universal Credit and HB cuts: something for something? Read Shelter’s Kate Webb’s blog on housing benefit and under 25s.