Monday, 20 October 2014

Charities urge MPs to block housing benefit cut

Plans to cut housing benefit from households if a young adult member of the family is seeking work could increase homelessness, charities have warned.

Government proposals being voted on today could result in an £800 annual cut from housing benefit paid to parents or guardians with a young person aged under 25 who is living at home and seeking work. Current rules don’t make a deduction if the young person is claiming Jobseekers’ Allowance.

Homelessness charities Crisis and Shelter have warned this will put additional pressure on low-income families. Young people seeking work, who receive a lower level of jobseeker’s allowance than those over 25, will have no way of making up the £800 deduction, they said.

Currently more than 600,000 young people are unemployed and not in education. Figures from the Office for National Statistics show one in three men under 34 now lives at home, and one in six women.

If MPs vote in favour of the change it would come into force later this year under universal credit.

The charities warned that it could ultimately cost the taxpayer more money as under 25s who are living with their parents may have no choice but to make a housing benefit claim of their own.

They have called on the government to urgently rethink the proposals.

Leslie Morphy, chief executive of Crisis, said: ‘Together with the “bedroom tax” this move will mean many parents are penalised whether or not their grown up children move out of home.’

Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter, said: ‘In the current economic climate young people need to be supported to get back into work, not forced to bear the brunt of further cuts to the housing safety net. Tragically it seems inevitable that we’ll see an increase in youth homelessness as a result.’

Readers' comments (9)

  • Am I reading that right??? If a young household member is trying to get off the dole and into employment, the family will be penalised by way of a cut in HB??

    Surely this will create an incentive not to seek work. Or have I completely misunderstood this article?

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  • Daedalus

    I believe you have misunderstood the article.

    My understanding is that it they are in receipt of JSA then this will apply. So, if they are not in education, etc. etc. Therefore it will not discourage seeking work.

    I fully admit that I am not 100% sure that I have got this correct.

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  • Chris

    Under 35's have lost their access to state support for their housing costs, reduced to the shared room rate of under 25's. Now under 25's are to be penalised if they stay at home instead of trying to live an adult life.

    How long until this is extended also to under 35's, and when will people wake up to see the creep of entrenching poverty as government policy.

    Soon the UK will suffer the same fate of the P.I.G.S. where young people are being forced into economic exile. Still, good news for the rising economies of South America and Asia.

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  • Chris - we all got what we 'paid for'.

    In 2010 the Chancellor said what he would do and we all said this is awful and shouldn't be allowed - that's it, that's all we done.

    I don't think all this criticism is justified.

    The lawfully elected government of the day said they will make entrenchment of poverty their policy - we all heard them say it and nearly 3 years later the industry has finally grown a pair.

    TOO LATE !!

    We could have all stood together and batted off all this madness but we didn't.

    The charities like Shelter stood by and watched in fear of their own budgets getting cut - guess what 10 Shelter offices are closing - GOOD !!

    First they came for the 'skivers' then disabled, then 'strivers', now HA's themselves are threatened - GOOD !!

    U-turns are an everyday occurence now - Benefit Cap is on its way out. The bedroom tax won't stick because the media will pick up on 100's of 'deserving' people being penalised.

    The industry should be ashamed as we have all gone along with ths madness.

    Stand together or watch everything fall apart - simples !!

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  • Peter Fish

    Don has a valid point. When the proverbial finally hits the more delicate fans the great and the good, and their band of 'wanner-bees' who cheer them on, will not blame their policies for the situation, they will blame all the usual suspects. Of course, the media will willingly oblige them in this, and the unthinking masses will all agree.

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  • I think this article relates to the recent house of commons paper regarding housing costs under universal credit:-


    2.10
    Non-dependent deductions
    A non-dependant is someone who normally lives with the Housing Benefit claimant such as an adult son, daughter, relative or friend. Currently there are seven separate rates at which a deduction is made from the claimant’s Housing Benefit entitlement irrespective of whether or not the non-dependent actually pays this to them. These rates vary by income (of the non-dependent) – under 25s on benefit are exempt.
    Under UC one flat-rate Housing Cost Contribution (HCC) of £68 per month will be deducted from a claimant’s entitlement and all under 21s will be exempt from the HCC. There will also be exemptions (as there are now) for non-dependents who are in receipt of, or entitled to receive the care component of DLA at the middle or highest rate, AA or the daily living component of PIP, carer’s allowance, as well as prisoners and those responsible for a child under 5 years old.

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  • Tenantplustwo

    Again I say:-


    The Bedroom Tax is most certainly a tax as it reduces the vital and legal incomes received by the poor and directly increases the financial position of the government. But what about all other groups who receive public funds and have empty spaces in their premises who have NOT been targeted by any such leglislation , such as members of Parliament who get public allowances for their accommodation, liken to the Bank of England Government Mark Carney and often have lots of empty bedrooms, or British Farmers who get public subsidy for their land space but of which a lot is left empty / unproductive. Why is it only the poor in Social Housing who are being punished for having "empty spaces"

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  • C'mon Sense

    "Bank of England Government"??? No understand!

    Cuts are being felt be everyone, not just social tenants - please lets not have a 'social tenant victim mentallity', please!!

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  • Peter Wicks

    I see dark times ahead for many parts of Britain, violence on a scale that will make the poll tax riots seem like a walk in the park.But this blind hatred will be aimed at the oppressors and destroyers of our society, just like America there will be places the rich and powerful dare not venture and I can foresee flames of burning buildings turning night into day as the rich and powerful see their homes and businesses go up in flames....as the old saying goes.."For every action, there is a reaction" and when the populace have come to the end of their tether, violence and mayhem will prevail and may your gods help us all...I do sincerely hope I am wrong

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