News ID: 111917
Published: 1239 GMT February 17, 2015

Cameron: UK jobless youths must do public work

Cameron: UK jobless youths must do public work

Tens of thousands of jobless British teenagers will lose their right to claim benefits unless they agree to carry out community work under a future Conservative government.

Prime Minister David Cameron is set to announce later on Tuesday plans to force all Britons aged 18 to 21 years from “day one” of being unemployed to undertake community work in order to claim any benefit, Press TV said.

The program is to target 50,000 young Britons a year who have been without work, training or education for six months.

Under the proposal, jobless youths would be required to do 30 hours a week of community work, such as taking care of local parks, cleaning up war memorials, or making meals for the elderly.

The youths who undertake community work would receive a youth allowance pay equal to the job seeker’s allowance rate for young people. Currently, job seeker’s allowance for those aged between 18 and 24 stands at up to £57.35 per week.

Cameron will say in a speech in Sussex that he is in effect abolishing youth unemployment and seeking to “get rid of that well-worn path from the school gate, down to the Job Centre, and on to a life on benefits,” according to British media.

The prime minister will also say that British youths “must realize that welfare is not a one-way street” and that “there is no more something for nothing. They must give back to their community too.”

“What these young people need is work experience, and the order and discipline of turning up for work each day,” Cameron will say, adding, “So a Conservative government would require them to do daily community work from the very start of their claim, as well as searching for work.

The proposal is part of a planned overhaul of the country’s welfare system if the Conservative party will win the May general elections. The ruling Tories have vowed to impose an additional £12 billion of cuts in the first two years of the next Parliament.

The Tory-led coalition government launched austerity measures when it came to power in 2010 in a bid to tackle the country’s mounting debt and sluggish growth, but the policies have sparked opposition and public protests in recent years. The cuts have severely hit the poorest households in the country, forcing many of them to choose between paying for food or energy.

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