'Young people are being forced to survive on under £3 a day because of miserly benefit rates, the government’s own adviser warns today.
Ministers are urged to act on rules that unfairly punish jobless under-25s who must live independently because of the risk of abuse or violence and pay soaring rent levels.
Astonishingly, in some big cities, not a single room is available within the limit set for housing benefit payments, a stinging report reveals.
In an exclusive interview with The Independent, Paul Gray, the chairman of the social security advisory committee, warned that young people feared they were “being set up to fail”.
Mr Gray also sharply criticised the high numbers having their benefits docked for sometimes trivial reasons – highlighting how young people are four times as likely to be sanctioned as adults.
And he urged ministers to investigate evidence, revealed by The Independent, that almost half a million “hidden” young people are have been left without any state help to live and find work.
Mr Gray said: “We talked to lots of young people who said they are left, at best, with £20 a week to feed and clothe themselves
“The rate set by the government might be perfectly reasonable if someone is living at home with their parents – but is it really adequate if they are forced to live independently?”
“If we squeeze young people too hard in this way, what is going to happen to them. Will they end up going to foodbanks, or falling into a life of drugs and crime?”
Mr Gray said the central problem was the “shared accommodation rate” – a lower housing benefit payment to reflect the expectation that jobless young people should live together.'
Read more: Young Britons are forced to survive on under £3 a day due to miserly benefit rates, warns government adviser
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