At least 50 young people in North Northamptonshire will be affected by the Conservative government’s decision to strip 18-21 year olds of housing benefit, research by the House of Commons library commissioned by the Liberal Democrats has shown, affecting people across Wellingborough, Kettering, Corby and East Northamptonshire.
In total 18,000 young people across the country are expected to be suffer from the change, which came into force at the beginning of this month. The Liberal Democrats have committed to reverse the cuts.
North Northamptonshire is already suffering from substantial levels of homelessness, with official figures showing there were 18 rough sleepers in 2016. Charities have warned that stripping 18-21 year-olds of housing benefits could push more young people onto the streets while research has shown it is likely to cost taxpayers more than it saves.
Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Wellingborough & Rushden, Chris Nelson, commented:
“This heartless decision to strip under-21s of housing benefit risks pushing more young people in Northants out onto the streets, and what’s more taxpayers could even end up worse off! This thoughtless and counterproductive policy should be overturned immediately.
“Vulnerable youngsters with nowhere else to turn are being abandoned by this Conservative government, whilst Labour have simply been too occupied by their internal squabbles to provide a proper opposition.”
“This election is a chance to change the direction of our country. The Liberal Democrats will restore housing benefit for 18-21 year olds and provide a strong opposition to a Conservative Party that is letting down our vulnerable and is hell-bent on a destructive hard Brexit.”
- Figures from the House of Commons library showing the number of 18-21 year olds in receipt of Housing Benefit who will be impacted can be found here (link)
- The latest figures on rough sleeper by local authority can be found here (link)
- Charities have warned the policy will risk pushing thousands more young people onto the streets. Research by Heriot Watt University has claimed the policy will save just £3 million. This means if just 140 more young people were made homeless, the policy would actually cost taxpayers more money overall than it saves. (link)