Only 11,000 young people will be affected by Housing Benefit cut that is an act of punishment, not help

Theresa May: No humanity.

Statistics show that only around 11,000 young people are likely to be affected by the decision to cut Housing Benefit for people aged less than 22 – meaning this is an act of punishment, not an attempt to help.

The Conservatives want to punish victims – that’s right, victims – of domestic or sexual abuse; people who have been disowned because of their sexuality, gender identity or other personal attributes; and people who have been pushed out of the family home for any number of other reasons.

The Conservatives want to push these people onto the streets, where they will be at greatly increased risk of violence, sexual exploitation, substance addiction and illness, with no opportunity for help – for a start, none of them will be able to get a job without a permanent address.

Abi Wilkinson says what This Site was trying to say yesterday, but does it better:

If you want to understand what welfare cuts are really about, the decision to cut housing benefit for 18 to 21-year-olds provides a perfect example.

Only around 11,000 young people are expected to be affected by 2020, meaning that, in government budget terms, the money saved will be negligible.

This has nothing to do with “balancing the books” or “living within our means” – it forms part of a deeply ideological agenda.

The official advice is that those affected by the under-22 housing benefit cut should simply move back in with their parents, but the government is fully aware that many do not have this option. It’s highly unusual for childless, single, unemployed young people to move out of their family home (claimants with dependent children and those in work are exempt from the cut). Those that do usually had little choice in the matter.

There are many reasons why young adults might not be able to live with family. They could be victims of domestic or sexual abuse. They may not get on with a parent’s new partner. In some cases, there simply might not be room for them. They may have been disowned because of their sexuality, gender identity or other personal attributes. Young LGBT people are already statistically more likely to sleep rough for this reason.

The fact that only 11,000 claimants will be affected suggests that the alleged problem the cut is supposed to solve is, at most, trivial. The idea that young people are choosing to live off benefits rather than seeking work seems to be largely a figment of the imagination.

Source: Getting rid of housing benefit for 18 to 21-year-olds won’t even save us that much money – it’s ideological cruelty

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7 thoughts on “Only 11,000 young people will be affected by Housing Benefit cut that is an act of punishment, not help

  1. Samuel Miller (@Hephaestus7)

    So, while keeping someone on welfare indefinitely may cost more, that person might live longer. Yet under the theory that “personal responsibility” must be promoted through economic punishment, some conservatives seem unsure whether spending on social supports to stabilize and potentially lengthen a poor person’s life is a net benefit. In brutally mathematical terms, the study reveals how the neoliberal social “safety net” aims at reducing the cost of caring and indirectly devalues the poor, rather than helping them live more secure and healthier lives.

    Excerpted from: [U.S.] Is Welfare Reform Causing Earlier Deaths? | The Nation

  2. damo

    This is deliberate punnishment against vulnerable youngsters…..its so mean and cruel….but then the tories are all about mean and cruel…the love it they love to abuse and hold power over the vulnerable …frightened vulnerable youngsters who cant fight back…..the climate in this country seems to be becomeing more and more bitter and twisted……..though im amazed the tories havent been offering thease youngster accomodation at……….dolphin square or maybe the elm guest house…..

    1. hugosmum70

      most havent learned how to cope in the modern world really at under aged 21. its ridiculous. and then they wonder when the poor sods turn to crime.

  3. Barry Davies

    The whole premise of people choosing to live on benefits is obscene the benefits steer nonsense and camerons 6 years of “for hardworking people” mantra has created a false idea that anyone getting benefits, for any reason, is a parasite although there are far more in work getting benefits than out of work.

  4. hugosmum70

    and what about those who were orphans in the past and at 16yrs old had to leave their “safe” childrens home to fend for themselves? loads of reasons why under 21’s could be living alone.

  5. Florence

    Is it not more than 11,000? Having seen analyses of a the different groups affected by this, it seems that the poorer households will be doubly affected and may well have to evict their own children or risk eviction themselves, in the unholy mess created by so many hacks at the HB and other benefits budgets.

    Then there are the hostels closures that will snowball. The entire support system for homeless youngsters depends on them being prepared to live independently, but of course they will not have housing benefit to do so until aged 22.

  6. John Turner

    While I understand that a number of young people leave home for no real reason other than to get a council flat/house.
    This form of Tory policy will also effect a number of young people that have genuine reasons for leaving the family home, for example physical/sexual abuse, mental health or sexual orientation.

    This policy will only increase theft, suicide, homelessness and the sexual exploitation of young people.

    On the plus side, it will (marginally) ease the housing crisis.

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