Sunday, 25 November 2012
Jesus Christ!! Tory MP calls for "unemployment benefit" to be in the form of a "repayable loan"
My article for the Telegraph on a new Beveridge: telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/…
— Chris Skidmore MP (@chrisskidmoremp) November 22, 2012
Tory MP Chris Skidmore is the MP for Kingswood and has a tiny majority of less than 3,000 votes. For the period he remains as an MP he is working very hard to influence Tory policy direction on various matters from health to unemployment. His latest piece will strike fear into the heart of every person who has been made redundant, or who has struggled through hundreds of job applications only to be constantly rejected.
The Tory MP (in this piece) has called for various changes to our benefit system. One of the changes is to force those (under 25) who recieved unemployment benefits to pay them back once they get a job. The Tory MP argues
"For individuals aged under 25 who have not yet paid National Insurance contributions for a certain period, perhaps five years, unemployment benefit should be in the form of a repayable loan. An unemployed teenager would still receive the same amount of cash as now, for example, but they would be expected to repay the value once in work. "
Given that long term youth unemployment is at a 16 year high, and that nearly 1 million of our young persons are unemployed, this policy if enacted would wreak havoc in the lives of our young. The Tories have cut their EMA, tripled their tuition fees and now plan to ban under-25s from receiving Housing Benefit. This latest proposal would be punishing our young for George Osborne's failures to grow the economy. Why should our youth be punished for Tory double dip recessions? Why should are youth repay unemployment payments while millionaires get tax cuts? Is this the Britain you voted for in 2010? If you are under 25 and happen to be out of work, please do not take this gentleman's views too serious. We in Labour regard you as an asset, not a burden. We in Labour have a vision that offers you sustainable employment where you will feel a valued, and not a stigmatised, member of society.
The Tory MP calculates that a young person could be expected to pay up to £20,000 in unemployment payments back to the state. Given that 20% of Graduates remain unemployed after 2 years we could very well be in the situation of charging someone £27,000 for a degree and then a further £10,000 in punishment loans for failing to convert their valuable degree into a job.