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Youth Opportunities Programme

Volume 13: debated on Monday 16 November 1981

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asked the Secretary of State for Employment (1) by what amount the allowance under the youth opportunities programme needs to be increased to restore its original purchasing power;(2) if he will express as a percentage of average earnings the allowance under the youth opportunities programme when it was first introduced and as at 31 October;(3) when he expects his review of the allowance paid under the youth opportunities programme to be completed.

The youth opportunities programme allowance was introduced in April 1978 at £17·50. Since then the retail price index has risen by 56·1 per cent. and the allowance would have to be increased to £27·50 in order to restore its real value to the April 1978 level.In April 1978 the YOP allowance of £17·50 was 52 per cent. of the value of the average earnings of young people under 18. The allowance is at present 42 per cent. of the value of the average earnings of young people under 18.I am currently considering the level of the YOP allowance and I will make an announcement shortly.