Young people must 'earn or learn' - while parents gibber and pay.

(51 Posts)
flow4 Wed 02-Oct-13 18:59:15

David Cameron has just ended his party conference with a speech saying that he'll axe Benefits for the under 25s. They'll get no support from the state, and must "earn or learn".

But youth unemployment is high and rising. Many young people will continue to be unable to get a job. And if they can't claim any benefits, who will have to pay?


Yup. There's no other possibility: parents will be forced to support their kids for far longer, well into adulthood.

I don't know about you, but I don't think I could handle it. There have been times in the past few years when the only thing keeping me from going over the edge has been the knowledge that if things didn't get better - if I got any more desperate - at least I only had to hang on in there 'til he turned 18.

If I'd had to support him another seven years I don't think I could have done it.

David Cameron says if young people can't claim benefits, it will save £1.8 billion. But he's only counting the benefit savings, isn't he? I bet it will cost the NHS and other services many times more, as us parents pay up, take the strain, and gibber quietly in the corners of our sitting rooms.

So, David Cameron, I know your kids are still only small and you don't know any better yet, but listen to us and think again. Life is hard enough for parents of teenagers and young adults. Leave young people's benefits alone.

Or we'll send our kids round to your place.

DiamondMask Wed 02-Oct-13 19:02:48

How are many parents going to afford it? I cant afford to support 3 adults. I'm a Carer. This means I get enough to support me and dd at the bare minimum. If the others come home and need feeding I am fucked.

I'll be paying for mine anyway. However that's because we can. How the feck can parents who currently lose Chb and CTC when the teens leave school pay for them out of £70 odd quid a week? Bastards.

Flicktheswitch Wed 02-Oct-13 19:12:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

eggyhead Wed 02-Oct-13 19:16:41

I think a lot of teenagers need a kick up the arse personally. A lot of my friends have kids who have no work ethic whatsoever

Yeah, I do feel for the parents and more and more glad I don't have any myself!

holidaysarenice Wed 02-Oct-13 19:18:58

More young people will get pregnant and the state will have to support them.

DiamondMask Wed 02-Oct-13 19:21:09

When I had mine Flick, you could buy a house for 3 times the average salary, jobs were fairly plentiful, degrees didnt cost an eye watering amount and I hadnt planned to become a Carer.
They've all gone to university so are doing their fucking best. Hopefully they will get jobs but unless your head is up your arse you will have noticed a massive bank fail, bailout, economic depression and up to 50% youth unemployment across Europe. My Carers Allowance isnt going to feed and clothe 3 adult children if they cant find work in this current economic climate.
We used to have this thing called 'society' to help us and young people in hard times. I recall paying into it too.

DiamondMask Wed 02-Oct-13 19:22:54

Nice to see the BBC pictures accompanying this story were all of hooded youths with fags. Agenda much? None of my kids are like that or any of the young people I know.

Flicktheswitch Wed 02-Oct-13 19:30:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

This is clearly a brilliant policy given that the government has made learning incredibly expensive (and, no, the loans don't actually cover all the living expenses). So what exactly is someone supposed to do when they can't get a job and can't afford to go to university without getting a part-time job? No flaws there at all. Clearly policy ideas from people who haven't got a clue about the realities of life for most people.

And what are you supposed to do once you've done a degree? Take out a huge 'career development' loan (with serious interest) and do a masters? What then if you stil, can't get a job (and there isn't exactly a surplus around)?

Maybe the plan might appear fair enough, if there were too many jobs and people were actually 'choosing the dole' in any great numbers. But that's far from the case. And what with the brilliant idea of reducing the available jobs by transferring them to workfare slaves, it seems even less likely that there will be a huge problem of people who don't want to work.

They're a bunch of fucking idiots. And that's me being nice about it.

Flick: do you imagine you'll be paying for your children when they're 40? 50? It's an equally arbitrary age, and they're still your children (who you chose to bring in to the world).

DiamondMask Wed 02-Oct-13 19:41:53

Maybe we should move in with baby boomer inlaws. After all, they bought dh into the world. Him and his offspring are their responsibility, even if they are 70 wink
They shouldnt have had him if they couldnt pay for him their entire lives...

flow4 Wed 02-Oct-13 19:43:35

Flick, it's called society.

The irony is that the government actively pushes parents (especially poor parents) to hand their children over to other people when they're little. State-funded childcare/pre-school care costs the UK about £10billion - much more than young people's benefits (

Young people need independence from their parents as much as parents need the light at the end of the tunnel. This plan is bad for everyone.

Flicktheswitch Wed 02-Oct-13 19:49:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Flicktheswitch Wed 02-Oct-13 19:51:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DiamondMask Wed 02-Oct-13 20:26:17

Thats not what people are saying Flick. Many people simply wont be able to afford to feed and clothe another adult on meagre wages or their own benefits. And if they've had to downsize their living acomodations (and many will), where will they put them? I love my adult kids being home but they have to bring food or money out of their student loans with them or I run out of food. I cant magic food out of thin air. Nor can many other people living on the edge.
I've done a bloody good job and so have they getting good grades, getting into good universities etc. There was no 'cant be arsed' in this family.

DiamondMask Wed 02-Oct-13 20:26:40

And what about the young people with NO parents?

flow4 Wed 02-Oct-13 20:31:33

Don't judge, Flick: you do not know me at all, and it just makes you look narrow-minded.

David Cameron obviously thinks he's found a 'soft target', because society doesn't much like teenagers. But cutting benefits for 18-25 year-olds will not just hit them; it will hit parents very hard indeed, and I'd say it will also have enormous 'hidden' costs for society generally, especially health services.

Parents with younger children may not be thinking through the implications for their own families yet, but people shouldn't sleepwalk into this...

Flicktheswitch Wed 02-Oct-13 20:58:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

willotess Thu 03-Oct-13 00:49:37

" don't just stop being able to afford to feed and clothe someone overnight"

Oh yes you do, Flick. My income dropped by £500 per month when my son turned 18. I lost child tax credits, CB, the 25%reduction on my council tax and his fathers child maintainance. He's not able to find work and his JSA goes on bus fairs and a meagre amount he pays me each week, (which I am saving for his driving lessons). He has had no new clothes and shoes for over a year.
I am keeping him - he is my son and I love him - but I'm self employed and am working all hours to be able to provide for DS and DD.

viperslast Thu 03-Oct-13 02:43:58

What an idiotic argument!

Ok so parents don't stop being parents at 18 and shouldn't expect the state to support their children at an arbitrary age and therefore this idea is just grand?

In which case do away with the whole welfare system, problem solved, eureka!

Because, in case you hadn't noticed, we are all someone's child. So by that argument when a 50yo man loses his executive job through redundancy of course his 70yo parent should support him! Or the 35yo who loses their job because the firm goes bust (thanks to this awesome economy) his parent working as a minimum wage carer whilst supporting and caring for his other disabled parent will have no problem at all finding that extra cash. Parents pre-decease you? Tough the lazy sods should have earned and saved enough to leave you to support you your entire life - just on the off chance (and to pay the tax on that eye watering sum) ... oh no wait. ...

This idea would be no issue at all, in fact it might even be a good one, if we could actually provide young adults with sufficient opportunities for employment that the only possible reason for unemployment was they were being a feckless waster. Sadly we can't. Sadly this country has been shafted for so long by so many that it cannot support its own population working or otherwise. Add to that the fact that the majority of people in work do not earn a living wage whereby they can run a mortgage, bills etc because of low wage and high cost of living.

If you are going to make an argument at least have it make some kind of sense!

NotDead Thu 03-Oct-13 02:58:46

Earning or learning is fine if there is free education and abumdant work. A further problem is that 'work' doesn't actually do a very good job of finding the jobless. There are huge numbers of employable driven people available for work that are out of work, and plenty of dull useless people in work. 'work' rarely getsrid of people in it who are unproductive to make space for more driven youngsters, and makes scant effort to find them even if there are jobs available.

'employers' are notoriously bad at finding employees.

Mumtomygirls Thu 03-Oct-13 05:01:07

What's going to happen to the family's that say for example a 18+ yr old moved out into own accommodation therefore leaving the parents to downsized their houses because they couldn't afford the bedroom tax then said 18+ year old needs to move back home after a year or two struggling to stay in education & or find work? Over crowding, stress, poverty, depression? The list goes on! Then where do they turn if they're lucky enough to recognise their depression.... NHS? Hmm seems that's not going to save them any money in the long run?

One of my daughters was working 3 jobs! She has worked part time since the age of 14 and is still in full time education, iv only just managed to get her to leave one of the jobs and just work two part time jobs.... This kind of plan by our government is only going to stress young adults like my daughters out and make them work stupid amounts of hours just to "get by"

Think it's time to start saving again as only have a year until first daughter is 18 and 3 years till second daughter is 18.

Before anyone asks if I'm expecting someone else to foot the bill for my children the answer is NO. but the knowledge that there is help if needed would be like an invisible net which could stop stress and the many other health issues that can arise from this.

Cameron should be made to live a month in the lives of us working class in the situation he is forcing us!

Cookiepants Thu 03-Oct-13 05:07:59

What about children in care? 24 year olds in children's homes / foster care? Or would they be abandoned?

Vickibee Thu 03-Oct-13 05:49:49

what about under 25's who have kids of their own?
What about under 25's who are form dysfunctional families?

This has not been thought through. Cameron lives in a privileged vacuum detached form the world most of us live in. All we can do is make sure they don't get elected in 2015. VOTE THEM OUT

englishteacher78 Thu 03-Oct-13 06:02:29

Also if we're all meant to work longer where will the jobs come from!

SatinSandals Thu 03-Oct-13 06:30:23

It all sounds quite reasonable until you take into account that there are no jobs for them and apprenticeships are like gold dust. The government statistics are not correct. My graduate son was unemployed for a year, he was living with us and not claiming anything and so he wasn't on any statistics and there must be many more unemployed who are hidden.
All the graduates who can't get jobs are working in retail and restaurants etc so I don't know what those without qualifications are doing.
We have just supported our son until he was 23yrs and found a job. He had a good degree and had hundreds of applications before he found one.

Flicktheswitch Thu 03-Oct-13 06:59:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

cory Thu 03-Oct-13 07:02:03 don't just stop being able to afford to feed and clothe someone overnight.

You do if:

a) your child benefit, child tax credits etc dries up

b) you retire

c) you die

The older the child is the more likely it is that b) and c) will happen. And a) will certainly happen.

Flicktheswitch Thu 03-Oct-13 07:09:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

flow4 Thu 03-Oct-13 07:10:21

Currently, parents keep their entitlement to child benefit, tax credits, and 25% council tax reduction for 'single adults' up to the end of the academic year in which their child turns 19, providing they stay in full-time education. Presumably the government is intending to extend this entitlement to 25/26?
hmm >hollow laughter<

Wossname Thu 03-Oct-13 07:14:10

What about the fact that, actually, you can suddenly stop being able to afford to support your kids, as child benefit, maintenance and ctc all stop at 18? This is terrible.

Are young people with children excluded from this? Is ctc and hb excluded?

I cannot express the deep loathing I feel for tories grin

Flicktheswitch Thu 03-Oct-13 07:20:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

heidihole Thu 03-Oct-13 07:33:11

The thing is, SOMEONE has to support your child (young adult)

It seems a lot fairer that it is you rather than me (indirectly)

The money from the state wasn't getting there by magic it was coming from other families pay packets.

gamerchick Thu 03-Oct-13 07:45:34

You are aware that the same money will be still coming from your paypacket don't you? It'll just be funnelled into something else that doesn't benefit you. Will that be okay with you?

cory Thu 03-Oct-13 07:54:30

So heidihole, what about the children who have been born, through no fault of their own into families who cannot or will not support them?

You can say until you're blue in the face that the families ought to, but what would you do as a young person if they simply won't?

As a child, you would be taken into care if your family refused to feed you. What would you do as a 22yo?

Families get to choose whether to have children or not. But the child doesn't choose. And it's the child who's going to end up on the street.

NoComet Thu 03-Oct-13 08:02:06

Vickybee hits the nail on the head
"what about DCs from disfunctional families?"

Yes, I'd rather our taxes didn't have to support three brothers I know when they are between jobs, but their drunk father and absent mother sure as hell aren't going to.

They are good lads, they try, but life hasn't bleased them with advatages.

flow4 Thu 03-Oct-13 08:09:45

The thing is, families don't raise children alone in our society, and haven't done for decades. Child benefit, tax credits, housing benefit child rate, council tax discount, free prescriptions, free health and dental care, free education, discounted or free childcare, discounted transport, and more... All this support has been given to families, in recognition of the fact that raising children is too expensive for parents to do alone, and that doing it well benefits everyone, not just each child's parents.

And 18 is the magic number: it's the age at which the state stops all this support. Unless the government is intending to extend all the 'children's entitlements' listed here to 25 (and I don't suppose any of us are naive enough to think that) then what they are proposing is a weird, status-less limbo period for young people: the children's entitlements stop at 18, but adult entitlements will not start until 26.

I don't think it has even occurred to government ministers that parents will be hit by this. I think it's a back-of-the-fag-packet idea; they intended to take a cheap and easy shot at young people, and hoped it would be popular, because our society doesn't much like young people.

They think they're hitting the feckless youth, but in fact they're hitting hard-pressed parents already stretched to breaking point.

cory Thu 03-Oct-13 08:15:52

And the unfortunate youth who happen to be the offspring of feckless parents.

So, heidihole, you wouldn't expect the rest of us to support you? I hope you never lose your job or get ill then. Unless you think your parents will love supporting their adult child.

Children are not private possessions of their parents. They are part of society. And as adults they are full members of society independent of their parents.

The Tories love this kind of crap because its the absolute best way to ensure that there's as little social mobility as possible.

flow4 Thu 03-Oct-13 08:20:15

Yes cory. I missed an 'also'. smile

flow4 Thu 03-Oct-13 08:30:59

And also, when you think about it, the younger siblings of the 18-25 year-olds - who will presumably get smaller portions and fewer clothes when less money is feeding and clothing more people.

viperslast Thu 03-Oct-13 11:26:48

Actually flick your opening response was this "They don't magically stop being your kids when they turn 18. You chose to have children why should you expect them to become someone else's (albeit collective) responsibility at an arbitrary age?"

My response is not pedantic it is doing what you said and removing the arbitrary age (assuming you didn't simply mean replace that arbitrary age with a new one of 25 which wouldn't make sense) If you feel your children are always your children and people shouldn't see a (government created) cut off then surely that applies to any age. We are always someone's child, that doesn't mean we shouldn't be offered the support of the state. (Ok maybe it was a little pedantic sorry blush)

One of the good (although abused) things about the benefit system is that it supports from in front as well as behind. Sometimes people are not lucky enough to have spent 8 years paying in before needing to access it. The system recognises that and supports it by allowing ADULTS the time to get started out so they can then pay back in.

There will always be people who abuse that in some way.

The problem is that the hated youth (thanks largely to the same awesome campaign as the scrounging benefit claimants and the malingering dla receivers) are more often out of work because of the poor state of employment in this country than because of a poor work ethic, drug habit or predilection for hanging out in hoodys with Staffordshire Bull Terriers - whatever the government and it's pet papers would have you believe.

lastone Thu 03-Oct-13 18:54:23

was gonna comment on this but see you lot are handling it fine, some members seem to read a whole lot into comments and jump on the bandwagon of jumping on people when they complain about policy...perhaps DC and GO should start including 'hardworking parents' in their right wing propogandist bollocks, just so we all dont dare raise a point regarding the rights of young people. Confusing questioning of policy with desire to 'absolve' ourselves of parental rights at 18!! Oh dear, Ive commented afterall.

ZiaMaria Thu 03-Oct-13 19:04:36

I assume Cameron is doing it in the hope that he will be reelect end and can then tell us 3 years later that 'unemployment' as measured by the number on JSA, is 'down'. Won't it be convenient that none o the 18-24 year olds will be able to claim JSA...

The young people worst affected will not be the children of middle class Tory voters. It will be those who had fewer advantages to begin with.

Free education stops at 19. Higher education is not free and even the huge loans available don't cover it all, so many parents are already supporting their children to 21 or 22. Those same parents will carry on supporting their children if they cannot find jobs in spite of very expensive degrees.

Secret squirrels: I'd imagine the whole point is to make sure than those at the lower end of the income scale stay there, so that the well off can more easily pass on their social status to their offspring.

cory Thu 03-Oct-13 22:51:57

I can't imagine any measure that is designed to make young people less likely to get on their bikes and look for employment elsewhere: they'll be clinging to their parents for dear life.

utreas Thu 03-Oct-13 22:57:36

This idea is crackers and almost certainly won't happen so I wouldn't lose any sleep.

wanderings Sun 06-Oct-13 07:31:33


More money than sense.

Was born into huge wealth, lives in huge wealth, will die in huge wealth.

Like so many other super-rich, not really on this planet with the rest of us.

Doesn't understand the world the rest of us live in at all.

There are too many people like him in politics, especially in the current Eton-riddled government.

First rule of admission to Parliament should be: at least 10 years' experience in a real job, where they have to meet real people.

We are sick of these career politicians who are so distanced from people who don't enjoy the same luxuries that they do!

FruitSaladIsNotPudding Thu 10-Oct-13 11:13:03

I don't know, I'd have thought most (if not all) able bodied 18+ yos could support themselves. They can relocate for work, they can live in roomshares, they can go to uni with a student loan. They have options which people with families do not have when it comes to work. Why would they need their parents to support them for anything other than the very short term (genuine question)?

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