photo credit: The Prime Minister's Office via photopin cc

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A future Tory Government would slash benefits for around 100,000 struggling families and young people to fund more low-paid apprenticeships, Prime Minister David Cameron will pledge on Monday.

David Cameron will say that he plans to deliver 3 million more apprenticeships by cutting the benefit cap from £26,000 to £23,000 a year.

The plan would affect 70,000 families in receipt of either in-work or out-of-work benefits and tax credits, saving around £135 million a year. This will include 40,000 households who have so far managed to escape welfare cuts, according to Conservative Party figures released to the Press Association (PA).

Figures released at the end of last year (December 2013) show that for the first time in recorded history more low-paid working households are living on or below the breadline than those who are out-of-work. More cuts to in-work benefits could further exacerbate this issue and cost the Tories votes at the next general election.

The Tories would also remove Housing Benefit entitlement from 18-21 year-olds, affecting 30,000 young people and saving an estimated £120 million a year.

SKY News reports that Mr Cameron has the backing of a number of large firms including Nestle, Airbus, Ford, Balfour Beatty, Fujitsu and the National Grid.

PM David Cameron said: “Because of difficult decisions we will make on welfare, we will deliver three million apprenticeships by 2020. This is a crucial part of our long-term economic plan to secure a better future for Britain.

“It will help give us the skills to compete with the rest of the world. And it will mean more hope, more opportunity, and more security for our young people, helping them get on in life and make something of themselves.

“We have already doubled apprenticeships this Parliament. We will finish the job in the next and end youth unemployment.”

Mr Cameron had previously told the Andrew Marr show: “All the evidence is the cap is too loose, particularly in some parts of the country, so bringing it down saves money, will mean more families getting into work, and what I want to see – the plan we have for Britain – is to spend less money on welfare and more on helping people into work.”

However, the Tories relentless attack against the young and low-paid has come under criticism from their coalition partners, the Liberal Democrats.

Leader Nick Clegg used his speech at the Liberal Democrats annual conference to attack the Tories for taking an “axe” to the welfare budget, without showing any “regard for the impact on people’s lives”.

His words will anger millions of people affected by welfare cuts his party helped (voted) to introduce – including the cap on benefits.

Currently the minimum wage rate for an apprentice is £2.73 an hour for 16-18 year-olds. The same hourly rate applies to 19 year-olds who are in the first year of their apprenticeship.

Apprentices over the age of 19, or who have completed their first year, are paid at least the national minimum wage for their age group, with some businesses willing to pay more – if you’re lucky.

The national minimum wage rate for 16-18 year-olds currently stands at £3.79 an hour, £1.06 higher than that for apprentices. Those aged 18-20 receive a minimum wage rate of £5.13 an hour, rising to £6.50 for the over 20’s.

Child Poverty

In related news, all of the three main political parties have been criticised for a “lamentable” lack of ambition in tackling child poverty.

The criticism comes from the Government’s own anti-poverty Tsar, Alan Milburn, who said: “Urgent action is needed to prevent this generation of young people faring worse than their parents’ generation.

He added: “Social mobility relies on young people having better opportunities to progress. Investment in skills and employment of young people today is money saved in social security and the costs of poverty tomorrow.”

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Photo credit: The Prime Minister’s Office via photopin cc

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27 COMMENTS

  1. Yep another example of the upside down politics of an out of touch dictator. If the economy is doing so well companies can fund their own apprenticeships The other thing is young people who take up these are paid so pitiably that they can only survive if they live with understanding parents. Cutting welfare from the poorest people to fund it is not acceptable. We are being led to believe that we are doing well as country and unemployment is dwindling. The biggest contribution to this are zero hours contract. These are plunging families into despair, poverty and eviction. All of which are putting welfare costs even higher and are crippling councils.

    • Unemployment, inflation, debt and deficit are all rising. But the stats are cooked up like grandma’s hotpot to make them more palatable for raising interest rates. If that happens, then we can all sit back and watch 1000s of new home buyers evicted followed by yet another sub-prime crisis. The future will be a very bleak place if we don’t remove these right-wing crackpots asap.

  2. Too many people confuse having too much money with having good housekeeping skills. When you are on benefits, you learn to make money go further, you learn to prioritize. You have to. It should be applauded that a person on £71pw can supposedly STILL manage to buy a 50″ TV, not vilified. Its total BS of course, but nonetheless people on benefits can make £71pw go further than your avg working man on £100pw. A man at work for example might go to MaccieDs for lunch for example. At home, you just make a sarnie. £2 saved right there.

    • My point was they are not on £71 pw, they are on £2500 per month… I could but a 50 inch every month if I earned that!

      • And my point is that the figure of £2500 that you quote is only representative of around 3 in every 1000 families. Its like comparing a lowly paid bank clerk with Jamie Dimon, because they are both in banking. It simply isnt true for 99.97% of claimants

  3. I would say this is classed as discrimination,against the people who through no fault of their own are stuck on benefits. And this is the worst Government the UK has ever had picking on the same group people, over & over again and getting away with it, something should be done about it.

  4. Stop blaming people on benefits.. it was the banks that wrecked the economy, or have you forgotten.the way they are blaming people on benefits is outrageous and anybody swallowing this propaganda bullshit should be ashamed.. They treat the poor, sick and needy with contempt and disdain whilst it’s tax cuts for the corporations and big banker bonuses for the failed bankers. These companies are making huge profits while paying their workers the bare minimum, tax breaks makes up the rest.the government subsidising the rich and you want to blame people on benefits. As it is, the rich piss on us and the gov tells us it’s raining!

  5. “Do you hear the people sing, singing the song of angry men?”

    Better way to pay for Apprenticeships – get the tax dodging companies to pay for it by either doing it or, much less likely, paying the tax they owe the country!!

  6. CHARLIE your either a TORY TROLL or you are easily influenced by the PROPAGANDA BULLSHIT the BBC, THE SUN PAPER , PUMP OUT EVERYDAY ………VIVA THE REVOLUTION

    • No I am influenced by what I see in my life, I don’t read the Sun or the Daily Fail like most people on here probably do. The majority of my friends are on benefits and they all agree with me – they say why would they want to get a job when they would end up worse off.

      • Charlie is right. I go out to work, I work long hours and I can`t afford a 50inch tv. The estate where I live has a high percentage of single parent/ lazy scrounger/ too ill to get off their backside and work wasters. Why bother to work when you can either be signed off sick or have an endless supply of fatherless kids. I don`t vote Tory and I ain`t subscribing to bull shit propaganda.

        • You have been watching too many Benefits Britain episodes. You gave the game away when you spoke of 50″ TVs. For the record, I cant afford a 50″ TV either and i’m on benefits. You say you don’t subscribe to BS propaganda, so why are you spouting it?

          • So because my friend has a 50 inch TV that means I’m watching a stupid programme I’ve never heard of? Strange logic.

      • Its a great big, smelly red-herring. What difference does cutting benefits do when wages are dropping at the same rate? Its a road to the bottom, where EVERYONE ends up in poverty. Working or not. Benefits is determined by the BARE MINIMUM a person can live on. What does that say for wages, if a working man is even worse off?? The answer is to raise wages, not cut the benefits of people who are already living a hand to mouth existence.

  7. Good. I’m fed up with so many people on benefits earning more than people who work 40+ hours a week. I know many people on benefits who have Sky/Iphones/Xboxes and can afford to go out drinking every weekend, yet they have never worked a day in their lives. I cannot afford these luxuries and have worked hard all of my life. No wonder none of them want to find jobs… they’ll end up with less money! Maybe I’m the stupid one for going to work every day!

    • Thats exactly why the Tories must go, they have kept you where you where you are, and as for benefit claimants living the life of Riley, thats rubbish believe me, sounds like you’ve bought into the governments ‘strivers’ or ‘skivers’ rhetoric, go down to your local foodbank and see what the benefit cuts and sanctions have done.

      • This is mainly true due to people not being able to manage their money properly. I see it every day in my job. I agree that benefits should be there for people when they fall on hard times but should not be the long-term lifestyle choice many people treat it as today. I’m sure there are people who genuinely struggle on benefits, but often mainly due to their own bad handling of finances. Most of my friends are on benefits so I do see what goes on, perhaps more than people who just rely on the news for their information. For example, one of my friends has 3 children by 3 different dads… she lives in a 3 bedroom house and receives £2500 of benefits every month. She has not worked a day in her life. She recently thought about getting a job but realised it would be impossible for her to earn anywhere near that amount of money. She just had a new kitchen and bathroom fitted by the council, has a 50 inch TV, Sky and an expensive contract phone. This is just one of my friends, but I have many more in similar situations! And for the record I’m not a tory supporter.

          • It was about a year ago that they were on £2500 so I’m guessing they have now been capped…. I apologise for not being up to date with their income!

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