Monday, 25 June 2012

Cameron seeks to condemn young people to homelessness and sofa-surfing

Last week I posted about the work being done by foyer projects across Cornwall to help homeless young people. These housing schemes don't just put a roof over the heads of people who would otherwise be on the streets or sofa-surfing, they also help them find training or jobs and prepare them to live independently.

According to the reports over the weekend, Prime Minister David Cameron is now saying that he wants a future Conservative government to abolish housing benefit for under 25s.

The question is therefore... what will happen to young people like those we met last week? 

These are not young people for whom staying at home with their parents is an option. In the main they have troubled pasts and have been kicked out of home or left because of family breakdown. As I posted last week, the delays in processing housing benefits and the single room rate restriction can make it very difficult for young people to get into housing. Losing all access to housing benefit would make it next to impossible.

And what about those young people who get on their bikes and leave home to find work but lose their job or are in work that doesn't pay enough to cover all their out-goings? If they lose their housing benefits then they will be punished for trying to make it on their own.

Cameron has been very clear that these are ideas for a future Tory government because he knows that there is no way that the Liberal Democrats in coalition would agree to such measures. It's proof of how much different a Tory only administration would be.

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