19 June 2014
Last updated at 05:24
Ed Miliband will say the current system discourages young people from getting the skills they need
Unemployed young people could be denied out-of-work benefits unless they agree to training, Ed Miliband is to say.
In a speech, he will say those aged 18-21 should get a means-tested “youth allowance” rather than Jobseeker’s Allowance, if they train in key skills.
The Labour leader will say his party wants to do more to get young people into work.
Conservative Party chairman Grant Shapps said Mr Miliband’s welfare plans were a “recipe for more spending”.
According to pre-released extracts of the speech, Mr Miliband will say: “We need big, far-reaching reform that can reshape our economy so that hard work is rewarded again.”
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Ed Miliband has no economic plan. All he offers is more of the same old Labour”
Conservative Party chairman
Mr Miliband will also propose an increase Jobseeker’s Allowance from £72 to £100 a week for those who had been in work for the previous five years – rather than the current two years.
But, speaking at the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), a centre-left think tank, he will promise “big changes, not big spending” – saying his plans will not increase the overall welfare bill.
“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,” he will say.
“We must reshape our social security system so that it does everything it can to get people into decent jobs and the world of work, not a life on benefits.
“And yet the perversity of the system means that the one thing we most discourage those young people from doing is getting the skills they need for a decent career.”
His proposed “youth allowance” – to be available to people who undertake training of AS-level or equivalent – is expected to be paid at the same £57 level currently given to under-25s on Jobseeker’s Allowance.
Mr Miliband has already announced his party’s “jobs guarantee” scheme, under which 18 to 24-year-olds out of work for a year will be offered a taxpayer-funded job for six months – with those who refuse losing benefits.
‘Less secure future’
Speaking about Labour’s latest welfare plans, Mr Shapps said: “This is just a recipe for more spending on welfare, more borrowing – and more taxes to pay for it.
“That’s exactly how Labour got us into a mess in the first place.
“Ed Miliband has no economic plan. All he offers is more of the same old Labour, and Britain would have a less secure future as a result.”
At the 2013 Conservative Party conference, PM David Cameron suggested benefits paid to people under the age of 25 could be cut in an effort to reduce long-term worklessness.