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Volume 113: debated on Wednesday 1 April 1987

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asked the Paymaster General if he is considering proposals or investigating the feasibility of depriving unemployed 16 and 17-year-olds of the right to claim supplementary benefit.

[pursuant to his reply, 26 March 1987, c. 241]: The Government have successfully met their guarantee each year of a place on YTS for all unemployed 16 year olds, and we have now extended that guarantee this year to unemployed 17-year-olds. As a result, from April 1987 onwards there will no longer be a need for anyone under 18 to be unemployed, for everyone will have the choice of a place in school or college or on YTS or a job. We hope that no signficant number of young people will choose to remain unemployed and claim benefit. Any that do so will have to satisfy the long-standing legal rule that they are available for work and actually seeking work before they will receive benefit. We have not taken any decision about the continuing benefit entitlement of under-18s, but we will keep the position under review as we acquire experience of the effect of the new YTS guarantee.