Only those in “purposeful” training or carrying out an “intensive” job search would be eligible for the allowance, under proposals being considered by the party
People under the age of 25 would be barred from claiming unemployment benefits under proposals being considered by the Labour Party.
The Institute for Public Policy Research will publish a paper later this week proposing a new means-tested “youth allowance” for 18 to 24-year olds who are not in work or education.
Only those who prove they are in “purposeful” training or carrying out an “intensive” job search would be eligible for the allowance, the group will say.
The allowance would be dependent on family income, with the children of parents earning more than £25,000 a year unable to claim it, the IPPR will suggest.
The youth allowance would be set at £56.80, the same level as Job Seekers’ Allowance.
Under-25s would be banned from claiming additional benefits including Employment Support Allowance and Income Support. Paying those two benefits to under-25s costs taxpayers almost £1.3 billion a year.
It is understood that Rachel Reeves, the Labour shadow work and pensions secretary, is considering adopting the policy, though is undecided about applying a means test.
Ed Miliband, the Labour leader, has also hinted at taking young people out of the benefits system.
The Conservatives have also suggested stripping benefits from under-25s. David Cameron said last month that if he was re-elected in 2015, he would insist that young people would either “earn or learn”, without the option of claiming welfare.
George Eaton claims that Labour isn’t planning to scrap benefits for under-25s. That’s exactly what they’re planning.
I find the continuous attacks on the young difficult to understand. Is it simply that they are relatively powerless and can’t fight back? It may have something to do with low voting rates.
Shadow work and pensions secretary Rachel Reeves has denied that Labour is planning to strip young unemployed people of unemployment benefits.
“Nobody should be under any illusions that they are going to be able to live a life on benefits under a Labour government,” she said. “If you can work you should be working, and under our compulsory jobs guarantee if you refuse that job you forgo your benefits, and that is really important.”
She added: “It is not an either/or question. We would be tougher [than the Conservatives]. If they don’t take it [the offer of a job] they will forfeit their benefit. But there will also be the opportunities there under a Labour government.
“We have got some really great policies – particularly around the jobs guarantee and cancelling the bedroom tax – that show that we are tough and will not allow people to linger on benefits, but also that we are fair. Where there are pernicious policies like the bedroom tax, we will repeal them.”