Campaigners in the Youth Fight for Jobs campaign (YFJ) have strongly condemned the prime minister’s conference announcement of plans to withdraw housing benefit and JSA from young people if the Conservatives win the next election.
Claire Laker-Mansfield, Spokesperson for the campaign said
“. No amount of punitive and vindictive policies will alter the fact that there are not enough jobs to go around. This callous announcement by Cameron shows a prime minister who is utterly out of touch. Since his government came to power, youth unemployment has ballooned to around 1 million – that’s 20%. At least five unemployed people are currently chasing every one vacancy. Far from ‘helping young people prepare for economically tough times’ this move will leave thousands facing destitution. It’s a myth that young people lack willingness to work. Cameron and his friends have lacked willingness to create jobs. Youth Fight for Jobs challenges him, his government and the Labour opposition to instead pledge to carry out a mass, publicly funded job creation scheme to provide decent, secure and socially useful jobs for the million young people out of work.
Removing housing benefit is bound to lead to a sharp rise in homelessness and rough sleeping. If the government want to cut the housing benefit bill, they could start by raising the minimum wage and banning insecure and zero-hours contracts. It’s this low pay and insecurity which means young workers are forced to ‘top up their inadequate pay packets with benefits in order to survive.”
YFJ have vowed to campaign against this move and will be organising protests, demonstrations and acts of civil disobedience against it.
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