Since the coalition government was elected, the manifesto promise of the Big Society has morphed into relentless bashing of benefit claimants via the media. Whether stories originate from press officers or from journalists, the results are the same. Strivers vs. Shirkers, benefit scroungers, large families fleecing the public purse, single mums, teen mums, are all headlines that fuel the increasingly hate-filled rhetoric against benefit claimants.
The prospects for young people starting out in the world today are already bleak with nearly one million young people currently unemployed - and now life is about to get even harder for them. 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.
It is highly unlikely that cutting off benefits would stop all desperate young people leaving intolerable domestic circumstances. In places like London, we could expect to see an increase in youth street homelessness. Meanwhile, those who do stay at home and are at risk from their own families or peers would be left stuck in an unsafe situation.
Hundreds of thousands of young people could be stripped of housing benefit and forced to live with their parents as part of a new welfare crackdown si...