Welfare Reform and Work Bill

Written evidence submitted by Melissa Ball (WRW 09)

To Whom It May Concern,

I would like to express my opinion on the Welfare Reform and Work Bill and raise the relevant points.

· The National Living Wage 

· Child and Working Tax Credits

· Housing Benefit

On my first point - This is an increased minimum wage not a living wage BUT only available to over 25s, now this is age discriminatory. The idea that under 25s are worth less than over 25s is ridiculous. I am myself 21 and with a mortgage, a family and bills to pay. Under 25s still have bills, homes etc and this proposal is punishing young people for being young and trying to make a life for themselves.

On my second point - Cutting CTC & WTC as aggressively as proposed is going to leave many families struggling to make ends meet in an already difficult climate. This will most certainly put many children and families into severe poverty. Also a large amount of people affected by these cuts will not be eligible for the £7.20 New NMW  as they wont be over 25 so surely if that is the case these cuts should only be to claimants over 25?

On my third point - As somebody when I was 16 who claimed HB due to my father dying and my mother being diagnosed with dementia and being cared for full time in a care home I think this is again going to make many young single people homeless and destitute. There is already a lack of help for young people (see points above) and I really feel the young are being demonised (mainly because they don't tend to vote) A safe place to sleep is a necessity 

I do however agree with the benefit cap. We all agree cuts have to be made but I personally feel cuts are being made in the wrong places. Demonising the young and the most vulnerable (children) is not going to help the economy or society. If families are getting less money then the economy is getting less money. Its a false economy to think if we take money from families who are working and already struggling that will help the economy. It wont and I fundamentally disagree with these proposals.

I propose the following amendments.

· Re-name NLW to what it is NMW and make it available to over 21 and over (current system)

· CTC &WTC should not be cut until the childcare becomes available in April 2017 and only if the £7.20 NMW is available to over 21s

· HB should be available to everybody who is in need! Regardless of age

Thank you for taking the time to read my views.

August 2015

Prepared 11th September 2015