David Cameron proposed at the Conservative Party conference last Wednesday that no one under the age of 25 be entitled to the dole or housing benefits unless they are in work, training or education. The aim would be to encourage youth with no activity to find a job or apprenticeship. Cameron said he wanted to “nag, push and guide” young people with this proposal.
We asked people from our boroughs if they thought cutting benefits for under 25 years-old would be a good idea, and if they believed this would encourage them to go into activity.
Daisy Samuel, 19, student, Lewisham
“Young people are facing so many issues with student fees going up for example, I don’t think that cutting benefits is good because we need to rely on our government as a backbone for the country. If anything I think it’ll encourage people to get quick jobs that aren’t going to give them any enrichment, per hour quick wages sort of thing.”
Mark Devlin, 33, builder, Lewisham
“I think the system should stay just as it is. They shouldn’t change something that works! Plus, I think young people will be more determined to stay on the doll to prove a point.”
Michael Newman, 29, pharmacy technician, Tower Hamlets
“I think that it’s a good idea, as people would be more motivated to get into training, education or work. There are cuts happening all over, and sometimes you need to make tough decisions. As for this decision, it’s probably better cutting benefits for those who are less motivated rather then punishing everyone. In the long term, people would be less dependent on benefits and chances are; be more hardworking!”
Victoria O’Shea, 45, teacher training, Lewisham
“Once again I think that David Cameron is targeting the most vulnerable in society. In fact I believe that if these changes came in before summer they could have sparked more riots!”
Damilola Oshilaja, 32, practicing artist, Hackney
“It’s a rubbish idea. The government are marginalising a section of the population. I do think it will motivate people to find work, but, what about the people who have been on the dole all their lives? They won’t be affected if they are over 25 and will continue to not find work and abuse the system. There is not spirit of democracy.
Stephanie Baker, 22, student, Hackney
“I think it’s a really unfair idea. By bringing in these cuts, people that are less able such as kids from troubled homes or those that suffer from mental illness will be most affected and through no fault of their own. Those that want to work and earn will always be motivated. Those that are not will have to be which is a good thing.”
Faris Ahmad, 25, compliance analyst, Tower Hamlets
“Well if they are not working, studying or even trying to get training, then I think young people would just abuse the system. I know how hard it is to get a job, but it’s been a case where people simply take advantage of benefits just to be lazy. So I think, David Cameron actually made a good decision this time. Although, I think people would just find an alternative route to still receive the benefits.”