'Robin Hood' Labour to take from bankers and give to young jobless

Mon, 10/03/2014 - 18:40 -- nick

The Labour party has announced a plan to tax bankers' bonuses to pay for a job guarantee for young unemployed people.

The party wants to have its cake and eat it though; a job would be provided to all under-25s who had been unemployed for more than a year, but the would lose benefits if they turned it down.

The language of 'guarantees' versus ' compulsory' mean it is not clear whether Miliband and Balls are pro- or anti-unemployed.

Youngsters will be given a job with training for six months, paid for not just with the bankers' tax but also by cutting tax relief on high earners' pension contributions.

Ed Balls gave a speech today in which he confirmed the plan, saying:

"It's shocking that the number of young people stuck on the dole for more than a year has doubled under David Cameron. For tens of thousands of young people who cannot find work this is no recovery at all.

"We've got to put this right. So if Labour wins the next election we will get young people and the long-term unemployed off benefits and into work.

"The government will work with employers to help fund paid work with training for six months. It will mean paid starter jobs for over 50,000 young people who have been left on the dole for over a year by this government.

"But it will be a tough contract – those who can work will be required to take up the jobs on offer or lose their benefits. A life on benefits will simply not be an option.

"After the global banking crisis and with bank bonuses soaring again this year, it's fair to pay for our jobs plan with a repeat of Labour's tax on bank bonuses. We need a recovery for the many, not just a few at the top.

"As a country we simply cannot afford to be wasting the talents of thousands of young people and leaving them stuck on the dole for years on end. It's bad for them, it's bad for our economy and it's bad for taxpayers who have to pay the bill."

The jobs guarantee contrasts with the coalition's failing youth contact.

Despite the heavy investment, it was announced last summer that it was likely to fail to hit all of its targets.

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