Elitist Assumptions and Housing Benefit

The Prime Minister really got me going with this latest story – in a bid to tackle the “fortune” we spend on housing benefit, anybody who is under 25 might become ineligible for it.

I think the biggest single problem with this is the ridiculously outmoded assumption that everybody who is young has a supportive, welcoming family who will accept them back into their home if things get tough. That is just nonsense, which belongs in an era we no longer live in, and it demonstrates just how out of touch Mr Cameron can be at times. After all, the one place that is still the norm is the rich, rural villages Mr Cameron hails from. The one social strata in which it is still the norm is the one he belongs to.

Homeless man with dog

Under 25? Out of work? This is Mr Cameron’s plan for you.

But what really annoys me about it is how, to be crude, politically shit it is. It’s not a policy, it’s a Mail headline. I don’t know if the alleged problem with people using HB as a default and a get-out clause is true. I suspect it’s an incredibly simplistic narrative being used to condemn a lot of people who are in difficult situations. However, that’s not the point – because even if it is true, then this is still just a really stupid way to deal with it. Rather than establishing any support, assistance or advice – rather than investigating root causes and finding solutions – we take the most simplistic solution possible: an arbitrary age below which the state no longer cares.

Step it up, Cameron – right now, it looks like you’re reading “Conservative Bigotry for Dummies” and recycling it as policy.


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About Jon Robinson

Lefty ex-politics student turned med student, interested in current affairs, economics, gender politics and health issues. Occasionally pretends to understand philosophy. @jon__robinson

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