David Cameron has outlined his plans to end housing benefits and job seekers allowance for unemployed people who don’t take up job offers.
At the Conservative party conference in Manchester last week, the Prime Minister announced that benefits would be taken away from members of the group termed ‘NEETs’ – those not in education, employment or training – who don’t take jobs that are offered to them. This comes as part of Cameron’s plan to reignite the British economy and cut back on government spending.
The government plan on delivering the policy, which gives students a year to prepare if they are not already in a position where they have guaranteed employment after university, in 2015.
There are fears that this new policy may impact recent graduates who have not managed to find a job instantly. If the proposed policy comes into effect there are fears that it may negatively affect thousands of students that have spent several years attempting to show their value to graduate employers.
David Cordell, the University of Nottingham SU Community Officer, highlighted the problem for students who find themselves unemployed upon graduation:
“Whilst we don’t believe that Cameron’s proposal would impact many full time HE students, we would want the changes to ensure that they don’t negatively affect other student groups such as part-time students, lone parents, students with disabilities, etc. Our bigger concern is for our members when they leave University. We know that it is a highly competitive jobs market and that youth unemployment is a major issue. Whilst it might not affect people whilst they are at Nottingham, it could become a real issue for them after graduation.”
The government argues that the policy makes economic sense and may benefit Britain in the long run. Cameron justified the welfare cut by suggesting that “the best way out of poverty is work and the dignity that brings”.