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From The Socialist newspaper, 4 February 2015

"These cuts will sink us further into poverty"

Hands off our housing benefit!

A young renter

The government's plan to abolish housing benefit for under-21s has demonstrated, once again, how sorely out of touch they are with reality. For those of us who have fled from home due to abuse, overcrowding or because they are not welcome, among many other reasons, these cuts will sink us further into poverty.

Cameron defends this proposal, saying that it will fund 300 apprenticeship places but those targeted by these measures are in no position to benefit from this. Just 2% of young people supported by youth homelessness charity Centrepoint have access to apprenticeship schemes.

Vulnerable

Far from living a life of luxury with parents who will always have a room for them, figures show that young people are hit harder than ever by the housing crisis. 8% of under-25s report that they have been homeless during the last five years and the number of under-25s sleeping on the street has more than doubled over the last three years.

From personal experience, I know that the family home is not always the welcoming place the Tories would have us believe. I left home when I was 19 to escape a controlling and emotionally abusive family. Trying to have a social life and become independent was emotionally draining so in the end, I had to leave.

I am now 21 and I receive no support of any kind from my family. I will soon graduate from university and start looking for work. If I do not walk into a job, housing benefit will be vital.

It is from people like me that the government wants to steal a lifeline which would tide us over during those in-between periods and times of financial hardship. I have friends who have suffered horrific abuse and neglect and who have had the courage to leave home. They have done so only to find that the government wants to condemn them to doing several poorly paid jobs on zero-hour contracts to make ends meet.

The government tries to give the impression of prioritising jobs over homes when in fact they are looking for another way to attack the vulnerable and bully them into non-existent jobs.

There is enough money in the pockets of big business and the super-rich to fund the apprenticeship scheme and to ensure that a generation of young people does not have to endure homelessness and poverty. Why doesn't the government start looking there?

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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In The Socialist 4 February 2015:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Get organised and fight back

NHS crisis: Establishment parties can't be trusted

Fracking in trouble, from Lancashire to Lanarkshire!

Death, taxes and energy profits

Hands off our housing benefit!

Them & Us


International socialist news and analysis

Cuba: Capitalist restoration threat accelerates

Greece: Syriza announces anti-austerity policies

Victory of the Marigold gloves


Socialist Party workplace news

Fighting for one London bus pay rate

Strike called off in face of inadequate pay offer

FBU recall conference: escalate pensions action!

Ferry workers win pay and conditions battle

National Gallery workers walk out against privatisation

Lambeth College strikers return to work

Ongoing battle to protect pay and conditions at college


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Londoners march for Homes

Academies victory: one down, four to go!

Rebuilding the student movement in Leicester

Gateshead fights for working class heritage

Election appeal 2015

Campaigns news in brief


Readers' comments

Why I joined the Socialist Party

At least we got Labour's fish and chips!

Disciplined for political comment


Socialist history

Miners' strike: vibrant array of support groups


 

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Related links:

Housing benefit:

triangleHousing arrears double, suicide risk soars - scrap Universal Credit!

triangleUniversal Credit could trap women in violent relationships

triangleTories u-turn on social housing benefit cap and borrowing to build

triangleFight expansion of disastrous 'Universal Credit' welfare system

triangleYoung people...fight for a future, fight for socialist policies

Housing:

triangleManctopia: billion pound property boom

triangleEviction ban extension not enough: make it longer, forgive the arrears!

triangleBrighton: Another luxury development

triangleSheffield: Support Sue

Poverty:

triangleDoncaster: Vigil for murdered women

trianglePoverty rises again - especially for BAME workers

triangleA timely read about a pandemic that overwhelms society

Cuts:

triangleDover: Solidarity with refugees - applause and cheers for socialist ideas to unite working class

triangleCovid-19 pandemic increases financial pressures on Welsh local government

Young people:

triangleCovid generation says 'fund our future'

Jobs:

triangleJobs, training, pay, we want a future!

Family:

triangleRed flags line road for Ken

Homelessness:

triangleHousing crisis: what now and after the pandemic?

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