So, David Cameron is now putting up the idea that we could stop under-25s from claiming housing benefit, with the idea that they return home. This assumes, of course, that there is room, that there is a parental home to return to, that the home and relationship is not an abusive one.
Assuming all of these factors are in place, and a young adult can actually return home, it still seems like yet another smack in the face for young adults in a time of record youth unemployment. With no jobs, no homes, access to education restricted with funding taken, and young people’s support services having their funding slashed, there must be a whole generation of disaffection moving up through the ranks. What is our society actually teaching young adults about participation and inclusion? That there is no place for them in Austerity Britain? It seems a very long time now since “hug a hoodie”, and there is no obvious compassion and definitely no respect in the policies this government has for young people.
I am worried in particular as to what impact this policy will have on young adults in abusive and/or violent relationships: it is a common feature in abusive relationships for the abusive partner to cut off contact between their partner and supporting friends and family, making a return to the family home following the removal of housing benefits an unlikely option. As I argued with the disability changes, taking away money often involves a removal of autonomy also. When people take particular accommodation because they have to rather than because they choose to there will surely be an increase of people trapped in violent homes.