Dave Cameron is set to announce controversial new plans to significantly reduce benefits for the under 25s.
The plan is currently being developed in order to counter the supposed welfare culture present within the UK, yet it may unfairly penalise those trying to better themselves. As it stands the plans appear to confirm that the radical reforms aim to cut housing and unemployment benefits for anyone 'unwilling' to work.
David Cameron said, ‘At the moment the system encourages people to not work and to have children, but we should help people to work AND have children...’
Whilst there is likely to be exemptions in special cases, some specific groups may find that their benefits will be cut and that their options limited. In particular, estimates indicate that as many as 380,000 people may be forced to move back home with Mum and Dad.
Even if there exceptions for some students, what about those individuals that are trying to support themselves prior to starting college or university? These students will have many of their options closed off, perhaps inhibiting their career path.
The major points being considered by David Cameron include:
- Abolishing the £1.8 billion in housing benefits, which as many as 380,000 under 25's receive
- Scraping the £70 per week unemployment benefit for those unemployed that refuse to work
- Making claimants that have been on benefits for two years carry out community service
Some of the proposed measures may very well be implemented immanently yet the Prime Minister may have to wait to gain public approval before pushing for his more radical strategies to be enforced.
Cameron said, ‘we are spending nearly £2 billion on housing benefit for under 25s (a fortune). We need a bigger debate about welfare and what we expect of people. The system currently sends the signal you are better off not working, or working less.’
While I would agree that the current benefits system may need to be revised, the proposed cuts are a step too far and put students trying to better themselves at risk.
Author bio: Tudor Davies is currently writing on behalf of Hardy Farm a student residence in Manchester. Tudor is part of the social media team, trying to publicise student news, university advice and local student events.