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Campaign and petition email responses | 1 in 52 young people are homeless or at risk in the UK. We need a strategy to end youth homelessness now.

Campaign and petition email responses

1 in 52 young people are homeless or at risk in the UK. We need a strategy to end youth homelessness now.

The cost-of-living crisis continues to place people across Scotland in a precarious position.

The SNP is clear that the UK Government must do more to tackle this Westminster-made cost-of-living crisis and support vulnerable young people.

While housing is a devolved matter, which is the responsibility of the Scottish Parliament, Local Housing Allowance and other matters affecting homelessness in Scotland, such as 79% of social security expenditure, remain reserved to Westminster.

Scotland has faced the most challenging budget settlement since devolution because of sustained high inflation and a UK Government autumn statement that failed to deliver the investment needed in Scotland’s public services.

Universal Credit is reserved to Westminster and the UK Government has deliberately introduced age discrimination within it. Younger people, especially younger parents, have the same costs as anyone else, they need to pay for housing, bills, and goods so Universal Credit should be paid at the same amount no matter the age of the person applying.

The SNP in Westminster has been calling on the UK Government to better support young people through:

extending Universal Credit eligibility to students and uplifting the Universal Credit allowance for under 25s in line with over 25s;

suspending the Shared Accommodation Rate for under 35s;

introducing an Essentials guarantee – to commit to ensuring that Universal Credit is set at a level that allows a household to cover essential costs such as food and utilities;

and removing age discrimination within the statutory minimum wage.

The Scottish Government is using its devolved powers to mitigate the adverse effects of UK Government policy and the Westminster cost of living crisis to prevent young people from being pushed into hardship.

The Scottish Government is proud that they have been able to invest over £90m in Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) in 2024-25, an increase of over £6m on 2023-24.

Scotland spends more per person than any UK nation on DHPs to reduce poverty and help struggling households to remain in their homes.

In addition to this, the Scottish Government have committed £35m for specific action to end homelessness and reduce the number of households living in temporary accommodation, over and above the funding provided to local authorities through the local government settlement to deliver homelessness services.

The Scottish Government are committed to reducing the number of households in temporary accommodation, especially those with children.

The Scottish Government will also invest £556m in 2024-25 to increase the delivery of more affordable homes, the majority of which will be for social rent, including supporting acquisitions of existing properties.

The Scottish Government are introducing new legislation which will require specified public bodies to ‘ask and act’ to prevent homelessness before it occurs and will ensure local authorities act earlier to prevent homelessness.

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@StewartMcDonald on Twitter