‘Lost’ kids get £20 a week to work From The Sun.

In a bold bid to tackle a “lost generation”, under-25s will be entitled to working tax credits to boost their wages.

At the moment, only people aged 25 and over can claim in-work support.

Ministers hope the move, part of the new Universal Credit system, will encourage youths to come off the dole and get a job.

Almost ONE MILLION 16 to 24-year-olds are not working or in education.

Someone on the national minimum wage working a 35-hour week will be between £15 and £20 better off than on benefits.

Welfare Reform Minister Lord Freud said: “Universal Credit will ensure that work pays for young people and that remaining on benefits will no longer be seen as an attractive alternative to getting a job.”

Under current rules, childless over-25s can claim working tax credits if they work at least 30 hours a week and earn up to £13,000 a year.

The Government’s flagship welfare programme, to be launched in October 2013, aims to finally make sure that work always pays better than a life on the dole.

It will see most benefits replaced with one single monthly payment.

Some 954,000 youths aged 16 to 24 were classed as NEETs — Not in Education, Employment or Training — in the first three months of this year. That was up 29,000 on the first quarter of 2011.

Shadow employment minister Stephen Timms welcomed the move, but added: “We need firm action to get our young people into work, not just tinkering around the edges.”


Paul Champion

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