Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Response from YMCA England to proposed removal of benefits for under-25s

Response from YMCA England to proposed removal of benefits for under-25s
Friday, 04 October 2013 08:18
The Prime Minister on Wednesday announced plans for the Conservative Party manifesto which included the removal of benefits for young people under the age of 25 when they are not in education, employment or training.
At a time of extreme youth unemployment, young people should be supported into education and employment rather than punished for not being able to access them. The announcement left a number of unanswered questions around how government will create these opportunities, which are not currently available.
The speech follows on from last year where the Prime Minister suggested that housing benefit could be removed for those under 25. At the time YMCA England argued strongly that any removal of housing benefit would have a disastrous effect on the lives of young people and this new announcement would only compound this situation further.
Denise Hatton, chief executive, YMCA England says:
"We would love to see a situation where every young person under 25 is – in the words of David Cameron - 'earning or learning'. However the reality of the matter is, that education and employment options are limited and more young people, through no fault of their own, are finding themselves in need of support. Simply removing their access to benefits will not resolve this problem.
There are many reasons why young people feel unable to continue living in at home – from family breakdown, death or illness of a parent or a concern for their safety. Many under 25s may also have children of their own to support.
While we, and those we work with, would welcome initiatives to get more young people into education, employment or training, this does not take away the need for the safety net housing benefit is supposed to provide."