Message from Tory conference: Don’t vote Conservative if you’re under 25

Under Tory plans you could make National Insurance contributions for nine years yet still not be entitled to social security support should you lose your job.

David Cameron has announced that under an all-Conservative government under-25s would not be able to claim benefits. Young people must “earn or learn”, Cameron said.

“Today it is still possible to leave school, sign on, find a flat, start claiming housing benefit and opt for a life on benefits. It’s time for bold action here. We should ask, as we write our next manifesto, if that option should really exist at all.”

It’s important to look at the background against which Cameron’s remarks were made: during the period April 2013 to June 2013, there were 1.09 million young people (aged from 16 to 24) in the UK who were Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET). Over a longer term, youth unemployment has been within 50,000 of the one million level since Apr-Jun 2011.

Notwithstanding the fact that a ‘life’ on benefits is no longer an option due to government reforms (if the coalition are to be believed, that is), simply withdrawing the right of NEETs to claim benefits is no solution at all to the problem of youth unemplyment.

David Cameron said today that young people must “earn or learn”. Noble words indeed, but language which misses the point: many people want to learn but can’t because they need to earn, and many others want to earn but are prevented from doing so because the jobs just aren’t there. Analysis from UNISON has shown that in some parts of the UK more than twenty people are chasing each vacancy.

The evidence that young people want jobs but are unable to get them is supported by recent research from Comres, which found that 88 per cent of young people want to work or study.

Cameron went on:

“the [Conservative] party should give young people a “clear, positive choice” to go to school or college, do an apprenticeship or get a job.”

Except, on this government’s watch, youth apprenticeships are down by 12 per cent. In 2009/10, under 19s accounted for 40 per cent of starts; in 2011/12 that figure was just 25 per cent.

This is before we even get to the potential injustice of the measure: under Tory plans you could make National Insurance contributions for nine years yet still not be entitled to social security support should you lose your job. Is this ‘rewarding hard work’? Hardly.

20 Responses to “Message from Tory conference: Don’t vote Conservative if you’re under 25”

  1. Emma Coften

    This is most obsured! Not everyone is in the position where they can asked their friends to find a job for their son or daughter… some of us have to be among 100’s of applicants to get through to an interview! What do can you expect if those creating policy have never had to operate in the real world?

  2. Jake Church

    so glad i am not a youngster anymore, what a prospect leaving school and can’t get a job or training or college place due to them not being there then having your benefit stopped ????? I am aghast at how this repulsive crowd of bullingdon bullies are getting away with these measures and worse imagine paying in for 9 years and not entitled to a penny. It is robbery without the mask and blunderbuss whilst stuffing a disgusting London, already bloated with more money…..I DETEST TORIES AND EVERY DISGUSTING UNCARING MONEY GRABBING HURTFUL POLICY THEY HAVE FOISTED ON THE POOR, DISABLED AND LOW WAGE EARNERS…they did not even win the election so libdem arse kissers, YOU WILL NOT BE FORGOTTEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. judith

    Where do these lot get this rubbish from..its absurd…where are all of these jobs going to come from???Or the money to educate people who cant afford to pay for themselves…this government really want to step back and take a look at the cumulative effects of all of these policies they seem intent on spewing out. No doubt this absurdity be met by the private members bill which has just had its second reading on bringing back National Service..Take a look at what is happening here..you will have to keep your kids until they are 25…and fully grown adults …where’s the jobs Cameron??? Where’s the money coming from???Half the population cant afford to feed or house themselves never mind paying for adult children.Or will we just put our offspring out onto the streets.Next the CSA will be expecting absent fathers to pay until their children are 25! Most people want jobs and education but you have made it almost impossible to achieve unless you are wealthy!

  4. Pete

    What about those under 25s who have been paying tax for 4-5-6 years?
    They’ve contributed to the system, so aren’t the deserving of something if they find themselves without a job or a home?

  5. Paul Corcoran

    Your headline: “Message from Tory conference: Don’t vote Conservative if you’re under 25”. Really? Why? Because everyone under 25 wants to claim benefits? How very naive.

  6. Paul Corcoran

    Your headline: “Message from Tory conference: Don’t vote Conservative if you’re under 25”. Really? Why? Because everyone under 25 wants to claim benefits? How very naive.

  7. Will

    Not everyone under 25 wants to claim benefits but all those who are will not want to vote for a party that could effectively cut off any security that might be provided should they lose their job. Imagine working from 16 to 21 or 22 and then finding yourself out of work and then told you are not entitled to any benefits whilst out of work even though you had spent four or five years working

  8. Paul Corcoran

    Granted they haven’t said this, but it’s highly unlikely that contribution-based benefits would be withdrawn from anyone. What HAS been made clear is the intention to remove the option to “leave school, sign on, get housed” etc as a lifestyle choice.

    Yes there will be haters of this but having had this discussion with frontline workers whose customers are claimants since Cameron first suggested no HB for under 25s (one of Clegg’s “No”s), I think it’s a powerful vote winner. Not everyone who supports these moves is a nazi you know. Again, it is naive to think otherwise.

  9. Paul

    I am with Paul Corcoran – nice to hear a voice of reason for a change instead of the usual ‘its the governments fault’ However if you want to look at governments who might be responsible for the financial mess, feel free to discuss the Blair / Brown years of reckless governance of the UK that almost left us bankrupt.
    Difficult times mean difficult choices – it will never be implemented with such simplicity as stated and benefits will undoubtably be available to some but we have to address the cultural reality of four generations on benefit and living on benefit as a life choice.
    A return to a contributory and non-contributory benefit system would address Pete’s concerns

  10. Jake

    Neither Labour or the Conservatives understand:

    A) the concept of ‘helping’ the average person, and
    B) what its really like to live as a normal person in the UK

    The Labour ‘left wing’ philosophy of the ‘state everything’ & increasing taxes for the rich & throwing benefits at pretty much anyone (who isn’t considered rich) who wants them, just makes everyone ultimately poorer.

    Then you have the Conservative ‘right wing’ philosophy of the ‘limited government’ and not really thinking about individual circumstances when it comes to introducing a policy, like the above.

    How much government is in control of your life should be decided according to how much YOU want it to be. If you want the governments help, you can get it (within reason). But If you want to own a house and ‘be rich’, you can. This is why I believe in central politics and believe in a free & liberal society.

  11. Ironside

    This lot are a bloody disgrace..thats all I will say!!

  12. Ironside

    This lot are a bloody disgrace..thats all I will say!!

  13. OldLb

    Quite right. They should get a discount on the tax. Oh, hold on a second, is that a Labour policy? The rich pay all the tax, but when it comes to getting the service, you are denied?

  14. OldLb

    Quite right. They should get a discount on the tax. Oh, hold on a second, is that a Labour policy? The rich pay all the tax, but when it comes to getting the service, you are denied?

  15. OldLb

    Plenty of jobs. Except they are going to migrants.

    The money for the other things, education NHS etc, haven’t you realised? The money has been spent and now there is debt. Far more than they admit to. There is all the pension debts. You do want a pension don’t you? Why would that be hidden off the books?

    It’s all about the debts.

  16. OldLb

    Except that its Labour who also caused the problem. Like the Tories, they were and are reckless spenders.

    It’s all about the debt. The true debt is rising at 850 bn a year. pensions included. Taxes – all of them are 600 bn a year. Go figure the result.

  17. OldLb

    They can always take an unpaid internship with a Labour MP.

  18. OldLb

    like child benefit? Contribution based – withdrawn from people who have paid. Labour and Tory policy.

  19. OldLb

    almost bankrupt? The state is bankrupt.

    When you include the pensions, the debt is rising at 850 bn a year.

    Taxes are 600 bn a year.

    That’s bankrupt.

    Now work out the consequences and its dire.

  20. ud6

    it is a way for the government to save money – youth unemployment is usually higher as they are unexperienced. He is actually forcing young people to be burdened with debt but not have a method to pay this. Indeed, he is just catering to an older voting population and abandoning a generation who have more debt, less opportunity and need to study more to get the same or lower pay.

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