Myth 11: Stopping benefits to young people will save hundreds of millions

shutterstock_272173868Busted? New government measures, widely anticipated to be in next week’s Queen’s Speech, will remove housing benefit for most job seekers aged 18-21. The government says it will save £120m a year from the plan, after counting for exemptions such as single parents and care leavers. Ministers say this will help fund three million new apprenticeships. However, these savings have been disputed by young people’s homelessness charity Centrepoint, which says the exemptions would reduce the savings to just over £78 million. More interestingly, the charity says the knock-on costs of implementing the policy – such as increased use of public services if homelessness increases – would reduce the overall savings to just £3.3m. Centrepoint adds: ‘Even this is a conservative figure and only an additional 140 young people than already estimated would need to become homeless before the policy would end up costing more than it saves.’