“The trouble with kids these days…” is not exactly the way I would have expected one of Britain’s youngest Prime Ministers in recent history would launch his latest policy announcement at the recent Conservative Party Conference.
To David Cameron’s credit he’s not a cranky old man shouting at the kids to get off his lawn but his new plan to remove welfare benefits from people under 25 sounds like it’s targeted at people who do just that.
The goal is to get youth “earning or learning,” meaning that they should either be in university or working.
Unfortunately, due to the Coalition’s own policies, student tuition has skyrocketed from free to £9,000 in a generation and youth unemployment rates have risen to over 20% (graph from link).
So it’s all well and good to talk about the need for youth to be in school or working but the trouble is there are no jobs to pay for the school that students can’t afford. Now the government will take away the little government support that keeps many young families (few people are still studying by 25 and many are starting families by that age) need to survive between jobs in this economy.
Nevertheless, it’s a smart strategy for a government that’s lagging ten points back in the polls as those least likely to vote are the youths getting screwed under this new policy, while those most likely to blame youth for sucking the state dry are the older generations who show up and vote Tory.