The majority of UK public have expressed concerns about the British Prime Minister David Cameron's plan to end housing benefit for the under-25s, saying it will lead to an increase in the number of homeless people, shows a new survey.
According to a ComRes/Independent poll of 1,000 people, asked whether ending housing benefit for people under the age of 25 would inevitably cause some young people to be left sleeping rough on the streets, 59 percent agreed while only 35 percent disagreed.
Leading homelessness charities have attacked Cameron’s controversial idea of scrapping the benefit for under-25s, warning that it will leave more young adults sleeping rough.
Earlier on June 24, Cameron announced his new welfare crackdown, depriving hundreds of thousands of young people of their housing benefits and forcing them to live with their parents, claiming that the plan was to transform a welfare system which discourages people “from working."
Moreover, the Independent reported that in an upcoming speech on welfare, Cameron is to announce measures such as abolishing most of the £1.8 billion in housing benefits paid to 380,000 under the age of 25 and forcing a hard core of unemployed to do community work after two years or lose all their benefits.
However, the British Labour MP Michael Meacher attacked the government’s controversial welfare proposals for stoking up an "explosion on the streets."
Furthermore, criticizing the Coalition government’s housing benefit cuts, Campbell Robb, chief executive of the housing charity Shelter, said they "will inevitably lead to a rise in homelessness,” adding, “This poll shows the majority of the public share that concern. While excesses in the system should be rooted out, abolishing the entire safety net for young people is not the way to go about it."
Leslie Morphy, chief executive of Crisis, the national charity for the single homeless, also said, "For the vast majority, particularly those who have experienced family breakdown, returning to live with their parents is just not an option. Taking away their right to housing benefit would leave many no alternative but to sleep rough."