Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Ministers still considering under 25s benefit cut

The work and pensions secretary has said discussions about cutting housing benefit for under 25s are ‘still going on’ despite the omission of plans from last week’s autumn statement.

Speaking in the House of Commons yesterday, Iain Duncan Smith was asked for an assurance that the government has no plans to remove housing benefit from under 25s. He replied: ‘The policy debates are likely to go ahead, but I have no plans as yet to implement any policy – there are further discussions to be had.’

Chancellor George Osborne raised the prospect of stopping housing benefit for under 25s at the Conservative Party conference in October. However the plans were left out of his autumn statement, despite the announcement of several other cuts to welfare payments.

It has been widely reported that Conservative ministers were forced to drop the plans following opposition from their Liberal Democrat colleagues.

Mr Duncan Smith said if the government did implement the policy ‘all impacts on various groups would be taken into consideration’.

‘There would not necessarily be carte blanche - there would be nuances and changes,’ he said. ‘However, as I have said, discussions are ongoing… no policy exists at the moment.’

Readers' comments (17)

  • Melvin Bone

    'Ministers still considering under 25s benefit cut'

    They will be considering many, many policy options as have ministers in previous regimes. Some get shot down by the Sir Humphries in the civil service, some by their party, some by their coalition partners and some by the PM.

    It's amazing any make it through at all really...

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  • Joe Halewood

    Melvin, all ministers consider many options I agree with you. Yet its the depth of consideration that is the problem with this coalition in that its almost non-existent.

    Scratch underneath the highly superficial nonsense of banning HB to under 25s, itself part of a wider blame game political strategy on young people, and you see it cannot work. Thats why I said in April, then in June, then in September and ahead of A it wouldnt happen. I did say however that the most likely option is for the coalition to apply the shared accommodation rate or SAR to those under 35 in the social rented sector. This simply levels the playing field with SAR as it applies in the private rented sector - the exact same principle behind the bedroom tax.

    If the Tories get in power after the election then SAR will apply to under 35s in social housing. That is the real issue that the SRS doesnt even want to discuss as (a) its political easy to implement and (b) will save far more HB monies than banning under 25s.

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  • Those under-25s who are in work and loose their job should receive full HB support.... So they can look for another job. Most young people wont have too much savings.

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  • Usual Suspect

    Housing and housing benefiit is limited it should be allocated on need not age.

    Or is that too simple.

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  • Rick Campbell

    "Ministers still considering under 25s benefit cut"

    Well, they would!

    bears, pope, wood and all that ..........

    Won't surprise me when they hit those of non-working age with bedroom tax.

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  • Joe Halewood

    Rick you say "Won't surprise me when they hit those of non-working age with bedroom tax"

    That would surprise the hell out of me...40%+ of the electorate are the 'grey vote' and thus far they have been spared any cuts whatsoever, in fact they have been favourably treated with 'welfare reforms' compared to those of working age.

    Even this lot is not stupid enough to attack those of pensionable age and despite the fact £2 in every £3 of welfare benefit spend goes to them. Their 'untouchableness' is why those of working age are getting hammered all the more as any savings have to come from just one-third of all benefit recipients.

    Note Im not advocating they should reduce benefit to those of pensionable age, rather just saying what the situation is and is likely to remain.

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  • I think our democracy is completely baffling how people with two or three properties can use one as a holiday home to rent if nr bristol it can be over £2000.00 week just outside like Wells Forest of Dean letting £600.00 a week over the Christmas period its ++ It seems to me that property has become the biggest 'evil' in the demographic world that 'kill off our kids' (abortion) to enjoy a better lifestyle make money this is the way to freedom!!!!never mind tomorrow cosy cosy for ever and ever Amen.

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  • blimey PD i'll have a couple of whatever you are on please

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  • Rick Campbell

    Joe,I can't see them attacking until after the next general election as the PM's personal commitment to protecting those of non-working age runs out.

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  • Chris

    Lower living standards. Less health care. Fuel poverty. Raids on pension funds.

    The grey vote may soon shrink in volume, except of course the more conservatively inclined, or those without RTB inheritance to be thankful for.

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