Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Alienating young people - why not remove all their benefits?

How is it best to alienate young adults? Perhaps by promising them free university education and then tripling the fees, leaving 21 years olds with £50k of debt to start their lives. Not alienating enough - ok, here's an idea, why not remove benefits from under 25s if they can't get a job and their parents earn over £25k a year? Housing benefit? No chance. Looks quite clear that Labour, Lib Dems and the Tories don't think that 24 years should be allowed to have a place of their own.

Compounding the restrictions on education, the huge levels of youth unemployment - currently at 21%, and the complete lack of available jobs, young adults will be forced to live at home on a household income of £25k shared between 3 or more people. This is far below the minimum wage - it will push households further into poverty and make those queues at the food bank even longer.

I have to guess that Rachel Reeves has never been unemployed, homeless or even broke. The jobs are not out there, the education is not available and it is wrong to force people to live with their parents. Scraping benefits for the under 25's might save £1.3bn a year but that is a miniscule proportion of the money lost through tax avoidance by Labour's friends.

We should be supporting young people, making sure that there are jobs available and making sure that they have the opportunities to train for careers. We need to pay everyone a citizen's income to remove the benefit trap, allowing people to work part time and not alienating those who can't work.

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