Would you be hit by a UK benefit cuts shake-up?

uk benefit shake up

uk benefit shake upDavid Cameron's proposed benefit cuts are to target certain sections of society, but for many honest, committed and hard working families, the UK benefit system provides a critical bedrock of support in keeping themselves afloat.

Whether it be in the form of child benefit support, housing benefits or working tax credit, plenty of us - particularly those who have recently started a young family - are claiming back a little from the national pot in order to make sure we stay afloat in these torrid financial times.

After all, when help is at hand you'd be a fool to turn your back on it, as long as you're a contributing member to society and not what David Cameron has labelled the "feckless" few who are bleeding the system dry.

Benefit cheats are the new target of the Government's cuts in public spending and could end up jeopardising the rights of others claiming support as a result of their willingness to rely solely on handouts.

The PM wants a change

Mr Cameron is set to lead a big Tory drive on benefit cuts for certain sections of society he doesn't feel are pulling their weight, or who he feels can do without the taxpayer support.

In one of the headline pledges, he has proposed stripping housing benefit from under-25s and forcing them to live with their parents. This could potentially have implications for young people across the UK, possibly making it harder for those not in full time work to get a family started.

For some established young families it could also mean the returning home of teenage sons and daughters who have fled the nest, only to have to return after being unsuccessful in the jobs market.

Further to the PM's plans is the idea of making unemployment benefit 'time limited' for all, meaning that no-one would be able to simply refuse to work and still receive the level of support they have been used to.

He is also keen to restrict handouts for families who have a large number of children, hinting that he believes many see having a large family as a means to collect as much Government money as possible.

Mr Cameron will speak before an audience in Kent on Monday and explain: "We have, in some ways, created a welfare gap in this country - between those living long-term in the welfare system and those outside it.

"Those within it grow up with a series of expectations: you can have a home of your own, the state will support you whatever decisions you make, you will always be able to take out no matter what you put in.

"This has sent out some incredibly damaging signals. That it pays not to work. That you are owed something for nothing. It gave us millions of working-age people sitting at home on benefits even before the recession hit. It created a culture of entitlement.

"And it has led to huge resentment amongst those who pay into the system, because they feel that what they're having to work hard for, others are getting without having to put in the effort."

Benefits - what are you entitled to?

Mr Cameron says it is time to ask "searching questions about working-age welfare: what it is actually for; who should receive it; what the limits of state provision should be; and what kind of contribution we should expect from those receiving benefits".

So are we all clear on this ourselves? There are several different types and grades of benefits and rules about who exactly is entitled to them.

All of these are well worth knowing, just in case you and your family are failing to claim for
a helping hand which you more than qualify for.

Mr Cameron is to suggest that more should be demanded from claimants, complaining that it is possible to stay on benefits for years without being forced to achieve basic literacy and numeracy skills.

"Isn't this something we should expect of people, considering these skills are almost essential to getting work?" he will say.

However, Mr Cameron will dismiss calls from many quarters for cuts to universal pensioner benefits such as winter fuel payments, free TV licences and free travel.

"I was elected on a mandate to protect those benefits - so that is what we have done," he will say.