Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland Labour MP Tom Blenkinsop, today, (25th June 2012) called calls by Prime Minister David Cameron to scrap housing benefit for the under-25s ‘cruel, illogical and ill thought out’.
“The Prime Minister’s outburst linking housing benefit with what he calls the “culture of entitlement” shows he does not even understand how housing benefit works. It also runs counter to all efforts to see that young people find and take up paid employment. Housing Benefit is currently open to people on low incomes – not just the unemployed – and given that those in this age bracket are often looking to live independently and at the early stages of their working lives, Housing Benefit can be vital for preventing enforced unemployment.
“Cameron continues to suggest that the availability of this benefit is a determining factor of high unemployment whilst simultaneously forgetting two important factors: the lack of jobs available for young people and also only 1 in 8 claimants of housing benefits are unemployed. Perhaps Cameron should be looking at tackling the issue of excessive rents in the private sector and other issues surrounding the massive need for housing benefit before he carries out another unwarranted attack on young people.”
Joe Anderson, Teesside Young Labour member, said:
“Putting up these barriers the way David Cameron proposes will only serve to heighten discrimination and put more pressure on already hard done-by families who will be forced to support their youngsters into early adulthood. It just shows again that the Government know little of, and care even less, for poorer people and communities.”