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John Hemming has backed the Lib Dem Plan to keep Housing Benefit for 18-21 year olds.

"800 young people face losing housing benefit under government plans.   We oppose this cut.  There are already people living in tents in this city and I believe that the estimate of 55 rough sleepers is an underestimate."

"The government don't understand that not all 18-21 year olds can stay with mummy and daddy.  Sometimes they fall out with their parents or end up without parents.  Sometimes they are leaving care.   If the governments plans continue we could end up having hundreds more rough sleepers.  The government don't seem to understand that not everyone's life is that easy. "

"I dealt with rehousing a young person who was 18 a couple of weeks ago where he faced living on the streets.  Under the governments plan he would end up on the streets."

"I did not, however, photograph him unlike my Labour opponent - who photographed homeless people living in tents in Birmingham recently - my objective is to solve problems rather than just use them to try to garner votes."

"I spoke to the people living in the tents and their problem is a simple failure of the benefits system.  They are entitled to benefits, but  the system has failed.   MPs have access to a benefits hotline which they can use to solve benefits problems quickly.   It appears, however, that my Labour opponent is only interested in taking a photo and not doing anything to actually solve the problem."

"Benefits issues are complex.  We need to look after people without encouraging a dependency culture. This, cut, however, is one that should be stopped."


ENDS

Here is a list of the numbers of 18-21 year olds by constituency who will lose housing benefit under the current plan.



Losing HB


Birmingham, Edgbaston 80
Birmingham, Erdington 130
Birmingham, Hall Green 70
Birmingham, Hodge Hill 40
Birmingham, Ladywood 230
Birmingham, Northfield 30
Birmingham, Perry Barr 90
Birmingham, Selly Oak 70
Birmingham, Yardley 40
Sutton Coldfield 20
Total CityWide 800


Rough Sleepers
Birmingham

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