Wednesday, 04 March 2015

Clegg vows to oppose age limit on housing benefit

Nick Clegg has vowed to oppose a ‘blanket ban’ on housing benefit for under 25-year-olds, but stressed further welfare cuts will be needed.

The deputy prime minister, speaking on BBC Radio 5 on Friday, was asked whether he agreed with proposals from senior Conservatives to restrict housing benefit for people under 25 years of age.

Mr Clegg, asked whether he supported a ban on under-25s receiving housing benefit, said: ‘A complete blanket ban on providing housing benefit to anyone who so happens to have been born 25 years ago or less? Of course not. Because there are people who have got kids, who have suffered abuse, who have suffered terrible trauma in their families.

‘Of course as a compassionate society you have got to support them.’ He did however suggest there are some people under 25 who ‘don’t need all the support they get’.

Senior Conservatives, including prime minister David Cameron last week, suggested restrictions of housing benefit for under 25s as part of a plan to make £10 billion of welfare cuts by the next election.

Mr Clegg said he would not be in favour of £10 billion of welfare cuts, saying those at the top should be asked to contribute more first.

He said: ‘When we are all having to make sacrifices, you ask people at the top and then you work down, you don’t ask people at the bottom and work up.

‘I don’t agree with this idea you pluck a £10 billion figure out of the sky and then say that’s what we are going to do without asking how can we do that more fairly.’

Mr Clegg did say, however, that it would be ‘unrealistic to assume’ that the government can’t make any more savings from the £200 billion welfare budget.

Readers' comments (21)

  • Nick Clegg as no say on anything in this government no more than the Lords to, he correctly points out in a fair and ideal world you start at the top and work your way down, however he should realise by now this government have no intention of taking anything away from their elite friends, the poor will be kept poorer

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  • Agreed Susan

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  • Does anyone aside from Clegg take anything he says seriously? Say one thing and do another is the Lib Dems mantra.

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  • Chris

    Well, we can all sleep more soundly knowing that Mr Clegg is on the case, and has made a clear promise to oppose a blanket ban. That of course does mean that if a ban excluding just one person, or typical example, is proposed he can vote for it and keep his word. And we all know how important he feels keeping pormises is.

    Still, at least it is a clearer statement against even further punishment of the poor for the mistakes of the rich than we have heard from the Labour ranks.

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  • Clegg's position was worked out at exactly the same time, and with the complicity of the DWP, and his ministerial colleagues.

    It makes the Tories look tough, Clegg look tough, but in intention and in effect, it is an affirmation of the status quo. Perfect brand differentiation to cull maximum market appeal from both party's electoral metric.

    Unfortunately, as is bleedin' obvious, Clegg is damaged, compromised, weakened, humbled, wounded, dying, deceased, not with the quick, gawn to another place, pushing up daisies ... the proverbial parrot.

    Foxtrot Oscar Clegg.

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  • agree with susan

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  • " When we are all making sacrifices ... " apart from his dignity, credibility and any semblence of morality what exactly has blame me not nick sacrificed ??

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  • Chris

    In terms of Student loans - the first born Philthy?

    In the wider context - public sector workers, social sector tenants, manufacturing workers, aspiring home owners, low paid workers, those he has helped make unemployed - just a few of the groups that Nick has sacrificed 'in the national interest' along with his fellow high priest of the temple of the market.

    As he has left himself now damned if he does or if he doesn't I'm surprised he has not retired to cash in on his club vouchers yet.

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  • Susan - agree absolutely. Clegg is utterly pointless now other than
    i) as a useful idiot for Cameron to jerrymander his party's spiteful and regressive reshaping of British society through parliament
    ii) as a distraction from the sheer waste of space that goes by the name Ed Miliband.

    Still, as Clegg has said he will oppose this policy we now know for sure that it isn't just a prime ministerial whim - it will become law very quickly indeed...

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  • Patricia Cross

    Lie's, lie's & more lie's, no one believes you now, lapdog clegg

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