- 18 May 2015
Scottish Government confirms UK plans could impact on up to 7,000 18-21 year old Scots
Bob Doris SNP MSP for Glasgow Region has slammed the Tory policy of withdrawing housing benefit for 18 – 21 year olds on benefits as part of the UK Conservative 2015 Westminster election manifesto.
Bob raised the matter in Parliament today with Alex Neil, Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Communities and Pensioners’ Rights today. Bob noted that as long ago as 2012 David Cameron suggested going even further and suggested withdrawing Housing Benefit to under 25s. Any extension to 25 year olds would impact up to 4,500 people in Glasgow alone and up to 27,000 people across Scotland. Housing benefit for young people provides essential support to secure a tenancy and is vital in preventing homelessness.
Bob urged the Scottish Government to support his call for the UK Government to “abandon” any plans to restrict Housing Benefit to young Scots and to support the Scottish Parliament to make “all future decisions on welfare provisions for our nation”. Alex Neil pledged the Scottish Government’s support to fight any cuts by working constructively on a cross-party basis throughout the UK, as well as pushing for the control over all benefits to be passed to the Scottish Parliament.
Following the exchange, Bob Doris MSP commented: “The access to a home is a basic human right and the proposed cuts mentioned in the Tory manifesto are simply inhumane and could impact on 7,000 young Scots. Such proposals would cause untold misery and exacerbate homelessness. David Cameron has previously signalled a desire to cut even deeper. Emboldened by an overall majority we must hope the Tories don’t cut deeper still.
We must do all we can to halt any emerging proposals in their tracks and do all we can to ensure that the anticipated £12billion benefit cuts targeting our most vulnerable are not implemented. To do this we will seek to build alliances across party and across the UK. However, the only real guarantee to protect our vulnerable citizens is for Scotland to have full control over all benefits”.