A UK report says homelessness among young Britons has increased sixfold over a year due to the government’s controversial welfare reforms.
The study by the umbrella body for homelessness organizations, Homeless Link, and published on Wednesday showed homelessness among Britons under the age of 25 has soared from 1.7 percent in 2013 to 10 percent this year.
The organization said the report showed clear signs that the Tory-led Coalition government’s tougher regime of benefit sanctions is forcing young Britons out of their homes.
The survey of more than 200 homelessness charities and council agencies across England also found that 90 percent of providers stated that the government bans have affected young people’s ability to access new housing accommodation.
Prime Minister David Cameron’s government imposed tougher sanctions regime in 2012 for those claiming Job Seekers Allowance and Employment Support Allowance. Measures included increasing the requirements to qualify and the amount of time for which claimants can be punished.
Rick Henderson, the umbrella group’s chief executive, said nearly all the questioned charities had reported that young people were being hit by the government’s benefit cuts.
“We know that early experience of homelessness can lead to the development of significant problems in later life, and for young people who find themselves in crisis, the benefits system should provide a safety net to help prevent this from happening,” said Henderson.
The current coalition government launched austerity measures when it came to power in 2010 in a bid to tackle the country’s mounting debt and sluggish growth, but the policies have sparked opposition and public protests in recent years.