Citizens Advice Scotland has responded to reports that the UK government is considering cutting benefits to people aged 16-25.
CAS Chief Executive Margaret Lynch says:
“Many young people are struggling already in today’s economy. The job market offers few decent opportunities, house prices are out of reach, and the benefits system as it stands is actually failing to support people adequately, and indeed it actively discriminates against young people in many ways – by giving them less in benefit payments than older people.
“Young people face the same financial pressures as everyone else. A pint of milk or a loaf of bread doesn’t cost any less if you are under 25. Nor does a house, or a heating bill. People under 25 are finding it harder than ever to get on the housing ladder, and our research shows they are also more susceptible to debt problems than older people.
“We would be very concerned about the impact further cuts would have on young people in Scotland. Far from helping them into work, it would be more likely to reduce their personal independence and force them instead towards poverty and debt.”
Over the last few years Citizens Advice Scotland have looked closely into the issues surrounding young peoples’ finances. In 2011 we published a detailed report - ‘Being Young Being Heard’ – which found that while people of all age groups were struggling, young people in Scotland faced particular pressures in employment, debt, housing and benefits.