Earn or Learn!

David Cameron at the G8 summit - Guillaume Paumier
David Cameron at the G8 summit - Guillaume Paumier
David Cameron at the G8 summit – Guillaume Paumier

Tom Greggan looks at David Cameron’s new ‘Earn or Learn’ strategy for the under 25’s.

‘Earn or Learn’ involves taking away housing benefits as well as Jobseekers Allowance from around one million people who aren’t in education, employment or training.

Speaking at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester, 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.

“Instead we should give young people a clear, positive choice. Go to school. Go to college. Do an apprenticeship. Get a job.”

It is thought that single parents, disabled people and people in care will be exempt from the ruling, but there is no sign as to if the rule will apply to unemployed graduates straight out of university.

Edd Graham-Hyde is a committee member for the UCLan Politics Society and, speaking as a Labour supporting student, criticised the policy, saying: “I’m not a massive fan as you’d expect.

“Coming from a white, middle class, man who inherited millions he has no idea what it is like to live as an under 25-year-old person in this country, struggling for money.

“Currently students can’t claim benefits when in education, yet many are forced out of education due to increased fees, rent prices, and fuel costs whilst at the same time youth unemployment is on a high – this policy is out of touch and leaves young people with no options.”

But first year Social Work student Bowen Perryman, a Conservative supporter backed the policy, saying: “More than one hundred thousand young people are in employment thanks to the Conservatives with many paying less tax but Cameron pledged to do more.

“The ‘earn or learn’ policy will support young people; showing that hard work whether in employment or in education is the only path to succeed in Britain.”

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