Controversial plans to take benefits away from young people not in work, education or training have won support on the Fylde coast.
David Cameron revealed during the Tory conference that people under-25 and classed as Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET) could lose their automatic right to housing benefit and jobseeker’s allowance if they refused to take up offers in those three areas.
Bradley Everied, 18, from South Shore, works in a supermarket and says people should be doing more to find work.
He said: “People who don’t want to have a crack at life have got this benefits safety net and if that’s not there they will think twice about what they are doing.”
Paul Maynard, MP for Blackpool North and Cleveleys, said: “Making sure they get into an apprenticeship or training might break a cycle of being in a household where nobody is in work .”
The plans are part of the Tory’s 2015 manifesto and are unlikely to come in before then because Liberal Democrats have already blocked proposals to curb housing benefits for the same age group.
Laurance Hancock, general manager of the Boathouse Youth, a South Shore youth club, said: “Benefits should only be available to people who need them, so if further education or training is available they should be taking benefits away.
“However, if you are going to struggle to find employment, benefits should be available.”
Life on benefits is not a young person’s choice
Coun Simon Blackburn, leader of Blackpool Council, said: “In reality, few young people choose a life on benefits.
“But for a variety of reasons, jobs – especially here on the Fylde, and especially in the current economic climate – can be hard to come by. Not everyone can live at home with their parents until they are 25 – especially not since the introduction of the bedroom tax and the introduction of the benefit cap.”