Tory benefits threat will leave young homeless, warn charities

'Young and vulnerable will suffer from cuts'

TORY plans to cut housing support for those between 18 and 21 years old will lead to a rise in homelessness, according to housing support groups.

Campbell Robb, chief executive of the organisation that combats homelessness, criticised David Cameron's plans to exclude young people from accessing the social security system.

"For the small number of young people who need help while they find work or get back on their feet, this part of the safety net is often the only thing that stands between them and the streets," he said.

"Some young people simply don't have the option of living with their parents, like those escaping an abusive household, or thrown out because of their sexuality."

Cameron said that removing housing benefit support from those under 21 years old would save money as part of the government austerity drive.

He also argued in favour of reducing the maximum amount of benefits any person can claim if his party wins the UK general election.

Paul Noblet, head of public affairs at Centrepoint, a youth homelessness charity, echoed concerns that further cuts would remove a lifeline from young people.

"The young people we support simply cannot return home because their families already live in overcrowded accommodation or because they have suffered violence or abuse. Removing more benefits from young people will only cause further misery and homelessness."

The future of the welfare state will be determined by the outcome of the general election in May.

Image courtesy of World Economic Forum.