2014: The year of hard truths

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Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne has warned of more cuts in the coming 16 months in a year that is to be known as 'the year of hard truths'. An estimated £25bn of savings is to be made, the majority of which is coming from the welfare budget; in particular housing benefit for the under 25s. A further £12bn welfare cuts are to then be made in the subsequent years following the 2015 elections.
According to Osborne, it makes sense to attack this 'enormous budget' first, believing that those claiming housing benefit under the age of 25 are essentially sticking two fingers up at those who can't afford to move out.
Firstly, I've never heard such a load of shit in my whole entire life. The benefits system as a whole is largely flouted and abused by those who are able to work but choose not to, so why single out under 25s? Hard times can fall on anybody regardless of age. Secondly, to suggest that housing benefits are being used by under 25s to solely fund a move out of the family home is preposterous. I moved out aged 18, funded by my job like most other hard working people out there. Fast forward five years, and I was made redundant and forced to rely on housing benefits as a way to pay my rent whist looking for another job. Did I enjoy it? No. Did I abuse it? No. But did I need it? Yes. In this current climate, job security is at an all time low and people out there - whether under 25 or not - need to know that if times get tough, they can draw on a resource that they have helped pay into. Housing benefit costs for under 25s totals around £2bn, whilst approximately £3.5bn is still being pumped into British prisons offering criminals a more comfortable life than many of us scraping by, penny by penny. Go figure.

All of this comes after a previous £7bn welfare budget cut out of a total £83bn back in 2010. Osborne has inherited the biggest budget deficit of any economy and therefore, understandably, drastic changes are expected to be - and needed to be made in order for our country to survive. Since 2010 however, as a country and an economy we have turned a corner - yet more cuts are predicted until at least 2018 due to Osborne's failure to balance the books. I find Osborne's views completely idealogical and quite frankly, ridiculous; he has evidently never had the misfortune of being a young person living on the breadline with no foreseeable way out. It's time for him to start concentrating on the real problem with the benefits system instead of preventing our young people from ever receiving the help that they may one day genuinely need.

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