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Stop housing benefits cuts

Release Date: 30 Nov 2012

Barnardo’s are campaigning to stop government axing housing benefits for under 25s – join us.

How the cuts will affect vulnerable young people

Ahead of the Chancellor’s autumn budget statement on Wednesday 5th December, we are concerned that the plan will have potentially devastating effects on some of the most vulnerable in society; including children leaving the care system aged just 18.

In stark contrast to these young people who do not have a family to fall back on, a YouGov survey on behalf of Barnardo’s found that over a third (35%) of UK parents expect to provide their children with some sort of financial support for the rest of their adult lives.

A care leaver’s point of view

Amy McNeill is an 18 year old care leaver who Barnardo’s works with. She went into care at the age of seven.

Amy claims housing benefit for a one bedroom flat and is tied into a 12 month contract with a private landlord.

Amy, who is at college and wants to be a teaching assistant, said:

I’d still be forced to pay rent for a flat I couldn’t afford to actually live in, whereas at the moment, I’m living independently and I’m managing.”

Chief executive Anne Marie Carrie said:

The reckless proposal to remove housing benefits from under-25s risks leaving some of this country’s most vulnerable young people out in the cold.

What makes this proposal particularly distasteful is that in reality only a mere eight per cent of total housing benefits are claimed by under-25s, making this a policy which risks causing long-term harm to the lives of young people for the sake of a few headlines.”

Mrs. Carrie continued:

The government’s misguided presumption that all young people have parents to help them out or take them in risks leaving the most vulnerable young people without a home.

We wouldn’t expect our own children to fend for themselves when they were just starting out in the world so why would we abandon those without a family to go it alone?”.

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