Abstract painting of subject, generated by DALL-E 2

Blood on their hands

10 Apr 2007 - JG

A report by the London School of Economics for the Prince's Trust charity, entitled The Cost of Exclusion gives us a very dim view of our future. It appears that the benefits handout culture of Great Britain is producing a population of "Neets" - people not in education, employment or training. Astonishingly, roughly one in five young people faces a -lifetime- on government handouts, under-achieving in education and runs the risk of falling into crime! This is twice as high as Germany and France, yet we are told so often by Gordon Brown that our unemployment is the lower than both these countries and that all is rosy in Brown's Britain. Well something is not right! He has created a society where it is easier to get handouts than a job - in fact he has created a society where those on handouts have no prospect of getting a decent job. This underclass is being allowed to survive but not prosper.

Before the facts and figures, a word from a DWP spokesman "-the Government has helped 700,000 18- to 24-year-olds back to work and that welfare reform was targeting the "hardest to help" young people in the inner cities-." So why then, Mr. Spokesman, is the percentage of 16- to 24-year-olds classed as unemployed in 2005 in England nine per cent, but the percentage classed as Neets twice as high? And why did a government report find that the proportion of 16- to 18-year-old Neets rose by one per cent to 11 per cent in 2005 despite Labour's pledge to cut the figure by 20 per cent by 2010? Answer - because your policies on education are failing miserably and your policies on employment and benefits are failing miserably too.

A couple of weeks ago, Gordon Brown cut the basic rate of income tax by 2p. Hurrah! Then he took the money we had all saved from this by abolishing the lower rate and increasing National Insurance contributions for a great many people. This tax and spend government doesn't realise that if it just got things right in the first place, it wouldn't have to keep raising taxes by stealth to make us think it was giving us tax breaks. The report from the LSE warns the problem of "youth exclusion" is draining £3.65 billion a year from the exchequer, enough to fund a 1p cut in income tax. It says the strength of the economy is masking the true cost of having 1.2 million young Neets. The Government, and Mr Brown in particular, have been hiding behind a very fortunate economic situation for a long time. When we see economic down turn questions will be asked why they didn't use their time more wisely and sort out a few of the serious issues facing the next generation of workers. New Labour were fortunate to come to power during a period of global economic stability, they are now culpable for future generations of failure.

Topics: Society

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