Outside the marginals

A commentary on the politics that followed the UK 2010, 2015 & 2017 elections

Double-speak on Youth Unemployment

The Prime Minister speaking on the Andrew Marr programme (28 September 2014 BBC1) announced:

Unemployed 18 to 21-year olds would be given six months to find work or training.

Their jobseeker’s allowance (JSA) payments would be withdrawn unless they agreed to take part in “community projects” such as cleaning up local parks.

They would be entitled to a “youth allowance”, set at the same level as JSA – currently £57.35 for those aged 16-24 while carrying out the community work. …

“At heart, I want us to effectively abolish youth unemployment,” …

“I want us to end the idea that aged 18 you can leave school, go and leave home, claim unemployment benefit and claim housing benefit.

“We shouldn’t be offering that choice to young people; we should be saying, ‘you should be earning or learning’.”
BBC Website 28 September 2014 : Tories would tighten benefit cap to fund apprenticeships

I wonder if I hear a touch of double-speak?

You can’t abolish unemployment by abolishing JSA (unemployment benefit). Saying that you will use the savings to fund apprenticeships, whilst welcome, again will not reduce unemployment – unless there are jobs at the end for those who have served their time. I don’t see anything that convinces me that the Tories want to address this aspect of an economic policy.

Of course if they get away with abolishing youth unemployment by abolishing youth unemployment benefit, they may be tempted to abolish unemployment for all by abolishing all unemployment benefit. They could then abolish homelessness by abolishing housing benefit. There could be no end to the application of this strategy.



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