Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Labour's legacy of a welfare state

I spotted this article today which shows how the last Labour government has turned our country into a welfare state thanks to their policy of mass immigration and bad education.

Britain has become the ‘Neet’ capital of Western Europe, according to an analysis of the performance of youngsters across the continent.

The UK has more young people without work or education than even Romania and Bulgaria.

Only four of the 27 European Union nations have more poorly educated and unskilled young people.

In just five years, 12 EU countries have overhauled Britain and now have fewer youngsters adrift without qualifications or hope.

Among them are France, Germany, Belgium, Holland and Ireland.

Even the likes of Romania and Bulgaria have now overtaken Britain in terms of their proportion of young men and women with decent education and job chances, the EU research showed.

The comparisons were published at a time of deepening concern over Britain’s growing army of Neets – which stands for young people ‘not in employment, education or training’.

Nearly one in five 18-year-old boys and one in six girls count as Neets, and earlier this month a count from the Department for Work and Pensions found that there are 1.5million people in Britain who have never done a day’s work in their lives. Of these, 600,000 are under the age of 25.

The latest figures were compiled by the EU statistical arm, Eurostat, and show how the numbers of youngsters with poor education developed in the 27 member countries between 2003 and 2008.

They show the proportion of the population in each country aged between 20 and 24 who are not in education or training and who have only the bare minimum of secondary school education.

In wealthier countries, a very high proportion of such young people are also jobless.

In the UK, 12.1 per cent of those aged 20-24 came into the category classed as ‘early school leavers’ in 2003. But by 2008 this had gone up to 17 per cent. The increase in the Neet count amounted to 40 per cent.

By contrast, most EU countries have seen numbers of ill-educated and untrained young people fall.

In Germany, the percentage fell over the five years from 12.8 to 11.8; in France, it fell from 13.2 to 11.8.

The effect of Britain’s growing proportion of Neets means that in 2008 there were more badly educated young people in Britain than in 22 other EU countries. In 2003, only ten countries had young people who were doing better.

The four countries with more ill-educated young people in 2008 were Portugal, Spain, Italy and Malta.

In Portugal, Spain and Italy, many of those in the EU count were likely to be in low-paid jobs. In Britain, almost all are jobless.

The Coalition has promised to try to cut numbers of young people who are idle by reforming welfare payments so that it pays to work rather than to claim benefits.

But arguments between ministers – in particular between Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith and Chancellor George Osborne – appear to have clouded the chances of reform.

Author Patricia Morgan, who has published studies of young people and the family, said: ‘These are shocking figures. They show that we do not care for our young people, and that our treatment of boys is appalling.

‘The Neet girls tend to have babies and be supported by the state as single mothers. The boys have no jobs, and no reason to get a job.

‘They have no responsibilities and no-one thanking them if they do boring work. They have no role and no-one wants them.'

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