David Cameron hints at housing benefit shake-up

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By Matt Duxbury

A fresh welfare crackdown from the government could see people under the age of 25 lose the right to housing benefit, David Cameron has indicated.

In an interview with the Daily Mail, the prime minister suggested 380,000 young people currently claiming housing benefits could be forced to support themselves or live with their parents instead.

The move would save about £1.8 billion a year, although the proposal is unlikely to find favour with the Liberal Democrats.

Mr Cameron told the newspaper that the current benefits system is “sending out strange signals on working, housing and families”, with the number of people claiming housing benefit recently passing five million for the first time.

He added: “We are spending nearly £2billion on housing benefit for under-25s – a fortune. We need a bigger debate about welfare and what we expect of people.”

The prime minister also hinted at plans for new restrictions on Jobseeker’s Allowance that will encourage unemployed people to do more to find work.

He is expected to outline his views in a keynote speech on welfare next month.

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