Housing Specification Blog

Cuts to housing benefits will limit careers for under 25s

October 11, 2012 Alexandra Blakeman Housing Issues

“How can we justify giving flats to young people who’ve never worked?” asked George Osborne at this week’s Tory conference in Birmingham.

Is George Osborne decelerating the economy by keeping employable under 25s at home, and away from the workplace? Click on image for original source.

It’s a good point – housing benefits have been known to fuel the work-shy. Why should some school leavers have the opportunity of living ‘independently’ without the means to do so?

The only problem with this is the way in which the government seem to be addressing young people on the basis of their age, rather than their social or financial circumstance.

For lots of young people, living away from home isn’t a liberated choice. The policy has the potential to impact very unfairly on those that have either been thrown out of their parents home or those with parents living abroad.

Speaking to the Guardian, Ben Summerskill from Stonewall, a leading LGB charity said:

“The government does need to distinguish between young people who may be in real need and young people who could quite easily move back into the third or fourth bedroom of the rectory in Hertfordshire.”

It seems to me that the cuts to youth housing benefits will only promote a feeling of immobility and lethargy which already exists at the root of the unemployment crisis. Whilst making it more difficult for the unemployed to move away from home, the cuts will also limit the job prospects of those who wish to further their career.

Are we at risk of infantilising an entire generation? It’s far too easy to revert (or remain) back to your dependent teenage days when living at home. This kind of mind-set will do nothing for the state of our economy or the health of our housing industry.

Will you be affected by the cuts to housing benefits for under 25s? Get in touch by posting a comment below.

We posted on this issue back in June, please click here to read.

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