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Benefits system 'discriminates' against young people

Citizens Advice Scotland have called on the government to end the ‘blatant discrimination’ against young people that exists in the benefits system.

Growing numbers of young Scots are having to rely on welfare support as they struggle to get jobs or housing. But people under the age of 25 get 20% less in Jobseeker Allowance than those aged 25 and over. The under-25s also get lower Housing Benefit payments and are not entitled to working tax credits – based on their age.

Releasing details of this unfairness in a briefing paper today, CAS Head of Policy Susan McPhee says,

“Young Scots have been hit as hard as anyone by the recession. They face exactly the same pressures as everyone else – high bills, falling incomes, and an uncertain future. And yet the benefits system blatantly discriminates against them, by restricting many of their entitlements purely on the basis of their age.

“This is illogical as well as unfair. Bills don’t make any distinction based on age - you pay the same for a pint of milk, a loaf of bread, a litre of petrol or a month’s rent, regardless of how old you are. Yet the benefits system restricts your income, not on the basis of your circumstances but purely because of your age.

“It’s time to end this unfairness now. Young Scots did nothing to create this recession, and indeed they are the ones who will have to build our economic future and stop it happening again. They deserve the same support as everyone else.”

You can download the briefing released today by CAS from the bottom of this page.

To arrange interviews etc. please contact Tony Hutson on 07774 751655. NB This is the number of the CAS Press Office, for use by journalists only. If you are a member of the public looking for CAB advice please contact your local bureau.