6 reasons why the Tory Government is turning your life into a disaster if you're under 25

Plans to cut benefits from those under 22 to get around legal difficulties of crackdown on EU migrants' access to welfare are latest in string of measures penalising youngsters

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Indy Politics

Reports that young British adults could miss out on access to benefits as a consequence of David Cameron's EU renegotiation is just the latest in a long line of Government measures that will hit those under the age of 25.

The age group already faces higher tuition fees, an end to maintenance grants at university, having to repay their student loans sooner, no more housing benefit and they are not even eligible for the new compulsory national living wage.

Now all those under the age of 22 face the prospect  of having their access to tax credits and child benefits cut off so the Government avoids breaking EU law with its plan to restrict EU migrants' access to benefits for the first four years they live in the UK.

Ministers are considering the move to get around warnings from lawyers that David Cameron's key pledge to restrict EU migrants' access to in-work benefits would be unlawful, according to documents seen by the BBC.

Here are five more reasons why the first Conservative Government in 18 years is a disaster for all those under the age of 25.

2. Tuition fees could go up

Students could face being charged even more than the current record level of £9,000 a year for going to university under Mr Osborne's plans to give institutions that show good quality the power to increase their fees by the level of inflation from 2017/18.

It means students attending the elite group of 24 Russell Group of universities are likely to face a hike in fees.

3. Students won't even get maintenance grants

Mr Osborne's decision to scrap maintenance grants for students from low income families and replacing them with loans will drag poorer students into even more debt.

The fact that Mr Osborne has raised the maximum loan available to students from poor backgrounds to £8,200 will only land them in deeper levels of debt to repay.

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4. Graduates will have to start repaying loans sooner

In addition, the Chancellor announced in his post-election budget a five-year freeze on the level at which students start repaying their loans - £21,000 a year. Under an agreement with the Liberal Democrats in the previous Parliament, this figure increased annually in line with inflation.

This means graduates face the prospect of having to pay back their fees sooner.

5. Stripped of housing benefit

Housing benefit will be removed from 18-21-year-olds apart from exceptional circumstances - part of a new so called “earn or learn” obligation.

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6. Not eligible for compulsory living wage

Finally, the biggest boost to low-paid workers for years – the introduction of a compulsory living wage – won’t even apply to those under the age of 25.

It was the headline-grabbing measure of the Budget, which will be introduced next April at a rate of £7.20 an hour and will reach £9 by 2020, but the minimum wage will remain at its current rate of £6.50 an hour for those aged 21-25.

This article is an update of an original article published on July 8 2015.

 

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