Miliband Plans Benefit Cuts for Young Jobless
Unemployed youngsters should have their benefits withdrawn if they refuse to undergo training in vital skills, Ed Miliband has announced.
The Labour leader said if he party wins power in 2015 then 18 to 21-year-olds to be given a "youth allowance" instead of out-of-work benefits.
However, he said they would receive the money if they signed up to learn key skills, and youngsters would not be eligible if their parents are relatively well off.
He added that they would only get financial support if they needed it and this would be assessed on their parents' income - like those whose children go away to university.
Mr Miliband made the proposals in a speech at the †Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR).
The plans would also see Labour increase the rate of contributory Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) from £71 a week to £100 a week - but people would have to have worked for five years, rather than just two before they qualified.
Mr Miliband†said: "We can't just hope to make do and mend and we can't just borrow and spend money to paper over the cracks.
"It is a principle deeply felt by the British people that people should get something back for all they have put in and not get something for nothing.
"The next Labour government will change the way JSA operates to make sure that someone who has been working for years and years and paying in to the system gets more help if they lose their job than someone who has been working for just a couple of years."
Mr Miliband was speaking as questions over his leadership intensified after a number of negative polls, one of which showed the majority of voters did not think him capable of taking on the role of prime minister.
Prime Minister David Cameron has already suggested preventing the under-25s from receiving benefits unless they are "earning or learning".
But Mr Miliband will propose scrapping out-of-work benefits for those aged 18 to 21 and replacing them with a "youth allowance" at the same value - around £57 a week.