Income Support and Child Benefit

Part of Orders of the Day — Social Security Bill – in the House of Commons at 6:56 pm on 14th March 1988.

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Photo of Mr Dave Nellist Mr Dave Nellist , Coventry South East 6:56 pm, 14th March 1988

There is a plethora of attacks against working people contained in the Bill. The clause, even after the amendment that has been proposed by the Lords and which the Government have initiated, removes from half a million 16 and 17-year-olds all rights to supplementary benefit, notwithstanding the Minister's explanation regarding whether or not there is justification or a lack of information about the decisions taken when those youngsters have that benefit removed.

Today, around the country, there have been tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of those about to be effected by the clause who have demonstrated their opposition by attending rallies, marches and demonstrations.

In the debate on the guillotine motion it was said that the Bill and, indeed, this clause, had the wide support of people throughout the country — patently that was not true today. Youngsters at technical colleges will use the right to study part time and those on YTS feel constricted to stay on those schemes or otherwise they will lose their benefit. Students who will leave school at Easter and summer have demonstrated, as have the parents of those involved.

I want to take this opportunity to warn the Government that, among young people in this country, they are storing up an undying, deep and widespread hatred of the effects of the clause—notwithstanding the effects of Lords amendment No. 3—and the effects that the Minister has attributed to it in his brief remarks. The Tories may think that there is popularity in YTS conscription—