Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Posts Tagged ‘young adults

Labour’s Ill-thought out Welfare Plans.

Jobless young adults would lose their automatic right to some state benefits under a Labour Government to encourage them to find work, Ed Miliband will announce on Thursday.

The 18-21 age group would no longer qualify for Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) and income support if they had skills below Level 3. If they undertook training to try to reach that level, they would qualify for a £57-a-week allowance, the JSA rate for under-25s. It would be means-tested and paid only if their parents’ joint income were less than £42,000 a year. Unemployed young adults would normally be expected to live with their parents rather than claim housing benefit.

The “tough love” plan is aimed at tackling the problem of almost one million “Neets” – young people not in education, employment or training. It would affect about 100,000 people, seven out of 10 of the 18-21 group claiming JSA. Current benefit rules prevent them training while looking for work.

Labour claims the move would save at least £65m a year in lower benefit payments and much more in the long run, because a “Neet” costs the Government more than £2,000 a year for the rest of their working lives.

Although denying benefits is bound to cause controversy, Mr Miliband will describe the move as “progressive not punitive”. It would not apply to people with young children or disabilities, which prevent them preparing for work. He will say the present system is unjust for young people not at university because they get no state support if they do more than 16 hours a week of training or further education.

The proposal forms part of a blueprint published by the IPPR think tank on how to create a fairer society in an age of austerity. The “Condition of Britain” report will shape the policies on which Labour will fight next year’s general election.

Mr Miliband will also endorse the IPPR’s plan to restore the contributory principle to the heart of the welfare system. Under Labour, the higher rate £71-a-week JSA, currently paid to people who have been in work for two years, would kick in only after five years in work, but the level would be raised by between £20-£30 a week

Independent.

The Guardian notes,

The removal of JSA for those with skills below level 3 would affect seven out of 10 of the 18-to-21-year-olds currently claiming JSA, and initially save £65m.

Comments.

  • Making the benefits of people under 21 dependent on their parents’ income is wrong in principle: it makes them…dependent on their parents and fails to respect them as adults. If they can vote why can’t they have the same rights as everybody else?
  • Why are people NEETS? Is Labour proposing to massively expand real education, or to use the existing system of training ‘providers’, many of whom have contributed to the dire results of the Work Programme as we know it. And what happens to those who do have Level 3 qualifications? We await clarification on this.
  • Unemployed young adults will be “expected” to live with their parents. This is to confine people to their family home. The reasons why this is not suitable for many people are too obvious to need citing – though apparently not something registered by the paternalistic ‘blue Labour’ advisers who have shaped this idea. This does not just apply to those with young children or with disabilities.

One could add that the contributory element seems appealing to those who would qualify, but what about those who do not?

On this point the Guardian says,

Miliband will reveal further plans to make welfare more conditional by linking benefit payments to national insurance contributions.

Under his plans, people would only be able to claim the higher rate JSA of £71 a week after they have paid National Insurance for five years, instead of the current two. The contributory element of the welfare system has been eroded in Britain and is much smaller than in most European economies.

So many people will be further pushed into poverty.

And for those already on benefits.

Are we to see  the real level of our benefits continue to erode well below the poverty line?

Will we still have to pay the ever rising cost of Council Tax?

Will full Housing Benefits be restored?

Miliband is silent.

Written by Andrew Coates

June 19, 2014 at 10:55 am