Tom Blenkinsop, Labour MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, has today (2nd October 2013) claimed that policies announced in David Cameron’s speech at Conservative Party Conference amount to “an attack on under-25s who are already in a difficult position because of Tory policies in the first instance”.
“If the policies announced in Cameron’s speech are going to form part of his party’s next manifesto then that paints a bleak picture for many of our young people in our area who could see essential help, such as Housing Benefit and JSA, stripped away. It seems extremely uninformed about many of the people who are in receipt of this help, and, in many cases, of how their own previous policies have made the situation worse.
“What is clear is that the Tories made a critical error when they axed Labour’s Future Jobs Fund. It’s a damning indictment of this Tory-led Government’s policies that since David Cameron became Prime Minister, long-term youth unemployment in Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland has increased by 81.4%, in Redcar by 65.6% and in Tory Stockton South by 238.4%.
“Or on housing benefit, does the Prime Minister realise – or even care – that over half of those under-25s who require housing benefit have dependent children; 169 thousand are single mums, 1700 single dads, and 32 thousand are couples with children?
“Unless you are amongst the millionaires that received a tax cut in April then this new policy is far removed from building a ‘land of opportunity for all’, but one of hopeless Tories.”