UK & World News
PM's Plan To Axe Housing Benefit For The Young
Hundreds of thousands of young people could lose their housing benefit under a series of radical welfare reforms revealed by David Cameron.
The suggested shake-up would see the removal of most of the £1.8bn in housing benefits paid to 380,000 under-25s - worth an average £90 a week - forcing them to support themselves or live with their parents.
Also among the measures is a plan to stop the £70-a-week dole payment for individuals deemed not to be trying hard enough to get work.
The overhaul could also see a hard core of unemployed people forced to do community work after two years - or lose all their benefits.
It comes as it emerged Mr Cameron's flagship "big society" was lambasted by the Archbishop of Canterbury.
The proposed changes to the welfare system are due to be laid out by the Prime Minister in a speech on Monday.
But in an interview with the Mail on Sunday, he insisted the existing system was giving the wrong incentives and urged more action to prevent feckless families relying on state handouts.
According to the newspaper, ministers are also looking again at plans to limit child benefit to a couple's first three children - although Mr Cameron will stop short of raising the idea.
The Prime Minister said the existing benefits system was "sending out strange signals on working, housing and families".
"A couple will say, 'We are engaged, we are both living with our parents, we are trying to save before we get married and have children and be good parents," he said.
"'But how does it make us feel, Mr Cameron, when we see someone who goes ahead, has the child, gets the council home, gets the help that isn't available to us?'.
"One is trapped in a welfare system that discourages them from working, the other is doing the right thing and getting no help.
"We are spending nearly £2bn on housing benefit for under-25s - a fortune. The system currently sends the signal you are better off not working, or working less."
Sky News readers have contacted us with their own stories.
One woman, a 21-year-old single mother, said if it was not for her housing benefit, she believes she would not be able to support herself or her two-and-a-half-year-old son.
"I still have food, electric, gas, nappies to buy... I can barely afford to live as it is, let alone if they cut the money all together," she wrote.
"If there were lower childcare costs, I would jump at the chance to work straight away as I have lots of qualifications in many different areas, ranging from bricklaying to photography.
"So if it was easier to get the childcare, people would work. I would work!"
A 24-year-old newly-qualified teacher (NQT) with a young daughter told Sky News she felt withdrawing housing benefit for under 25s was an outrageous decision.
She has been able to find work, but her husband has been unemployed for the past year, and says her family have survived on child and housing benefits, and a student loan.
"I can not conceive how someone in the same situation as us could possibly survive without that money - as for me, it seems that the Government are intent on punishing those who are trying to make an honest, decent living," she said.
"By withdrawing the PGCE (teacher training) funding after the places on the course were awarded , and reinstating the funding in the next academic year, there is a small minority of NQTs with nothing to their names but debt and regret.
"I have a young family to support and our Government are determined to make that almost impossible to do, despite my good education and dedication I seem to be getting nowhere."
The Prime Minister's hard line on benefits could exacerbate strains with Liberal Democrat coalition partner Nick Clegg, after a damaging recent split over proposals to axe GCSEs.
what do you think?
Good idea at last Cameron. Enough of these layabout young wasters who have a kid then demand a flat or house,which they get rent free and electricity and gas subsidised and child allowance. The only reason 99% of these couples have a kid is for the handouts and accomodation. The kid is a hindrance to them and the way they live, as in the case of baby P and many many others.
gas and electric subsidies? please tell me more...
I know several people who have been "sanctioned" and recieve no moneis at all to live off! Sanctioned for what they dont know and they wont tell them? So much for might bring it in? People are having to beg, borrow and steel to eat, have we caught up with China, Indian, Grees and West Africa never mind the rest of the world where the people are starving and the Government dont care!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Fully agree with this it is time that scoungers who will not look for work had there benefit cut.
How will this help, Younsters under twenty five are living in rented accomidation, When they are working they pay rent, What if they loose their job? they become homeless. Living with parents is not always an option. what is the next plan, Single people over twenty five to loose their housing benefit.....people loosing their benefit if they are deemed they are not trying hard enough to find work, I was unemployed for nine monthes , I applied for every job going, but struggled, who is oing to define "the not trying hard enough" The world is going daft!!
Looking at your spelling, punctuation and grammer I wouldn't employ you. Go back to school, learn the basics and then try again.
Richard, how arrogant and flippant you are. Reply to the content in Linda's post rather than taking a cheap dig
d and d Phillips
It doesn't go far enough in my opinion.
Some kids don't have a support network to fall back on! This man is relentless. I can't believe he is making to many temple unemployed and then taking away their benefits. I thought these Torys had changed. Complete and utter liars. take away the housing benefit and crime will be the answers. Of course this won't affect David and his millionair chums sipping champagne and knocking back oysters like its 1999. Evil people.
Being totally opposed to all that the Tory party stands for, i'm surprisingly with Camoron on this one. I was in the group that saved to buy a house, lived with parents before having kids etc, thinking that was the way it was done. Half a dozen redundancies down the road, getting naff all in benefits because i was a house owner, (assets) i always wondered why the guy who didn't bother trying to work , got a free council house, and all the benfits that go with it. I welcome this shake up, but somehow think it will only affect the people who are trying to support themselves, and the professional scroungers, the mullahs etc, will be left alone as they are too good at it. I've worked hard enough , to now be self sufficient, but with zero help from ANY government.
Attacking the weakest again, its all Cameron knows. Yes, some people do milk the system but most don't, find ways to identity these and people will support it. How about taxing benefits once a claimant receives more than the lowest tax allowance? Then announcing that in 12 months time only the first three children will receive child benefit but continue to pay for existing claimants as it not the childs fault. The one good idea, he has is making long term unemployed work on community projects. This should never allow companies to make profits though so nothing like the Tesco scheme from last year.
About bl**dy time. Make these people responsible for there own actions. Infact why not reward people for not churning out kids.
Dear Dave ( you dont mind me calling you Dave ) 1. All immigration , full stop !! 2. Slash imports, you will make a lot of enemies overseas but what the hell. 3. Give it a couple of years then reopen the workhouses for those who " wont " work. You`ll be amazed how much you save on benefits !
Is he going to axe housing benefit for the immigrants who claim it and then cheat the system by moving other people on - house opposite is supposedly rented by a couple who claim benefit but they also moved in 2 other people who work different shifts. Estate agents need to be prosecuted for turning a blind eye to it so long as they get their money. Happens all the te in this area
Libby ???????? Treglown
Wrong!! Completely disagree. How many kids move out of parents homes these days? Think of all those on benifits in college?? No education no job! Or if they loose there job no one to fall back on end up homeless and let's face it would you even give a homeless person a second glance when asking for jobs in your establishment? ^^^ he's got the idea when do all the immigtants that cheat the system get caught. Ugh this made me so angry thismorning!!!!!!
Carol 'Kernick' Thompson
I think its fantastic, might put the kids of having kids when they realise its not so easy when you have to support yourself instead of other hardworking people supporting you.
Windows Live User
There will always be a need. Not all have parents or a chance of a job. Chuck them on the street you are saying
Essence North Walsham
perhaps if there were jobs available then people wouldnt have to rely on benefits...yes there are alot who are scroungers but alot more who are desperate for a job and cant get one...no help for these kids to go to college...what if these young people have nowhere else to turn?? they supposed to live on the street? totally agree with the 'no extra benefits if you have more than three children'! when my children were young, if we didnt both work then our mortgage didnt get paid and we didnt eat....there wasnt tax credits etc and we managed....
Stop talking just do it.
get the immigrants out then we'd have more money to spend, they get everything when they come over here, house's and benifits, not fair....
Windows Live User
Wrong move Cameron People want their kids out once and for all not living with them forever! Get manufacturing moving and create some jobs that these under 25's can go for. Get them to work then look at what their needs are
If these people are going to be used to do community work< why not give them proper jobs and wages to do so, as obviously the work is there
Really worried about this one. My 18 year old son has just finished his A levels and is looking for a job to tide him over the summer until he starts University in September. There is no longer a jobs section in the local paper, most of the jobs advertised in the job centre ask for experience and the ones that don't were on a self employed basis (outbound sales calls, catalogue distribution). We live in an area of the country where unemployment is still rising and jobs are falling. I am more than happy to support my son for the next few months but what about the kids who aren't so lucky? What if their parents are abusive, houses overcrowded etc. And exactly where are the jobs coming from? Could be wrong but is Cameron only focusing on one side of the coin?