|The News Line: News
Monday, 25 June 2012
Cameron’s war on youth
TRADE unions yesterday slammed Cameron’s plans to axe housing benefits for under-25-year-olds.
A TUC spokesman told News Line: ‘This is a vicious attack on young people and will be counter-productive, even on its own terms, as it will stop young people looking for work.’
GMB national officer Sharon Holder said: ‘The GMB thinks this is an unworkable practice being planned by the government.
‘If a child feels so strongly as to leave home, they are not likely to return, even if the government is blackmailing them into doing so.
‘We believe this will only result in more children in poverty and sleeping on the streets.
‘Maybe Cameron should focus more on what the bankers have done instead of focussing on children, who deserve better.’
Ahead of a speech today, ‘The fairness and cost of welfare’, in which he is to call for dumping the Welfare State, Cameron signalled his plans in the Mail on Sunday.
These include scrapping most of the £1.8bn in housing benefits paid to 380,000 under-25s, forcing them to support themselves or live with their parents.
Cameron said: ‘We are spending nearly £2 billion on housing benefit for under-25s – a fortune.
‘We need a bigger debate about welfare and what we expect of people.’
He said: ‘We are sending out strange signals on housing, benefits and families. . . that you are better off not working, or working less.’
On stricter conditions for being able to claim Jobseeker’s Allowance, Cameron warned the unemployed will have to do more to find work.
He said: ‘We aren’t even asking them, “have you got a CV ready to go?” ’
He outlined that claimants would be forced to take part in community work if they fail or refuse to find work or training after two years.
Asked if he would take action against large families who were paid large sums in benefits, he replied: ‘This is a difficult area but it is right to pose questions about it.
‘At the moment the system encourages people not to work and have children, but we should help people to work and have children.’
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