Labour rejects recommendations to overhaul benefits for under 25s

The Labour party has distanced itself from a report which calls for, among other things, overhauling out-of-work benefits for the under 25s. The influential Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) on Wednesday published the report "No more NEETs: A plan for all young people to be learning earning."

The report made three key recommendations which included a youth allowance to replace existing out-of-work benefits, which would be conditional on on participation in purposeful training or intensive job-search and a youth guarantee providing paid work experience and traineeships.

Shadow work and pensions secretary, Rachel Reeves said:

This is not and will not be our policy.

It is not our plan. It is totally not my position.

IPPR believe its proposals would enjoy widespread public support, pointing to a YouGov poll conducted earlier in the year which found 60 per cent of people saying they would support ‘Keeping young people out of the adult welfare system, restricting their access to things like disability benefits and social housing, but providing financial support for and greater access to education, apprenticeships and opportunities for work-with-training’.

The think tank argues that the £8.5bn spent on benefits for the under 25s is far too high and leads to perverse incentives. There are currently 1.09m people between the ages 16 and 24 not in work, education training.

Graeme Cooke, research director at IPPR said:

The number of NEETs in the UK is a scar on our nation and represents our generation's failure in its responsibility to the next.

Our goal should be to effectively abolish NEETs, as they have successfully done in the Netherlands and Denmark.