Housing Benefit: withdrawing entitlement from young people

Published 17 February 2015

This note covers policy announcements on the withdrawal of Housing Benefit entitlement from young people under 21. The note considers evidence on the potential impact of withdrawal and provides comment from housing organisations and those working with young homeless people.

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This note covers policy announcements on the withdrawal of Housing Benefit entitlement from young people. The note considers evidence on the potential impact of withdrawal and provides comment from housing organisations and those working with young homeless people.

In his speech on welfare given at Bluewater, Kent on 25 June 2012, the Prime Minister presented a number of ideas for future benefit reforms. The proposals for consideration included removing access to Housing Benefit for people aged 16-24. The Chancellor made reference to the need to find an additional £10bn in savings from the welfare bill during his speech to the Conservative Party Conference 2012 – he went on to question whether young people who have never worked should have access to independent housing.

The Prime Minister returned to this theme during his speech to the 2013 Conservative Party Conference on 2 October during which he called for everyone under 25 to be “earning or learning.”

In an interview during the 2014 Conservative Party Conference, the Prime Minister pledged to remove entitlement to housing benefit for unemployed people aged 18 to 21. He also stated that young people between these ages would be unable to claim Jobseeker’s Allowance, and would instead have to claim a Youth Allowance.

Information on how the tax-benefit system currently treats claimants between the ages of 18-24 can be found in Library note SN/SP/3793.

Commons Briefing papers SN06473

Author: Wendy Wilson

Topics: Housing benefits, Housing, Working age benefits

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