X

Create an account to continue reading.

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles
For unlimited access to The Spectator, subscribe below

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles

Sign in to continue

Already have an account?

What's my subscriber number?

Subscribe now from £1 a week

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
 
View subscription offers

Already a subscriber?

or

Subscribe now for unlimited access

ALL FROM JUST £1 A WEEK

View subscription offers

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Login

Don't have an account? Sign up
X

Subscription expired

Your subscription has expired. Please go to My Account to renew it or view subscription offers.

X

Forgot Password

Please check your email

If the email address you entered is associated with a web account on our system, you will receive an email from us with instructions for resetting your password.

If you don't receive this email, please check your junk mail folder.

X

It's time to subscribe.

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access – from just £1 a week

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
X

Sign up

What's my subscriber number? Already have an account?

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Your subscriber number is the 8 digit number printed above your name on the address sheet sent with your magazine each week.

Entering your subscriber number will enable full access to all magazine articles on the site.

If you cannot find your subscriber number then please contact us on customerhelp@subscriptions.co.uk or call 0330 333 0050.

You can create an account in the meantime and link your subscription at a later time. Simply visit the My Account page, enter your subscriber number in the relevant field and click 'submit changes'.

Please note: Previously subscribers used a 'WebID' to log into the website. Your subscriber number is not the same as the WebID. Please ensure you use the subscriber number when you link your subscription.

Coffee House

Removing housing benefit for under-25s will help glue families together

10 October 2013

12:23 PM

10 October 2013

12:23 PM

People who support removing housing benefit for young people always focus on two arguments: finance and fairness. The former concerns the amount of money the government could save by not paying out to those who haven’t paid much in yet, while the latter points out that those who have jobs must often live at home and save before they can move out, unlike housing benefit claimants.

But both these arguments are wrongheaded. The main reason we should support this policy has nothing to do with any desire to economise or to equalise – it is because it stops families from being driven apart. Certainly there are times when there is no option but for a young person to move out from their home (abuse, for example), and ministers have already taken note of this. But, for many, the option of housing benefit gives a gratuitous incentive to detach themselves from their families.

[Alt-Text]


This detachment robs families of the chance of undergoing the processes by which they are glued together, and is essentially unstitching the social fabric at the most basic level. For obvious convenience, we can take a personal case: I (along with the vast majority of my peers) have just graduated from university, and found my first full time job, and I expect to be a burden on my family until I am stable enough to step out on my own. In the same way, when my family are old and vulnerable, I expect them to be a burden on me. Young people are “burdens”, if we must call it that, upon the entirety of their family throughout childhood, through all kinds of trauma and change, and ultimately most families do become the stronger for it.

It is not stealing to take housing benefit away from the young, but it would be theft to deprive young people of the formative experiences which provide the bedrock for secure, loving, supportive families.

Subscribe to The Spectator today for a quality of argument not found in any other publication. Get more Spectator for less – just £12 for 12 issues.


Show comments
Close