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A young man I know, (I’ll call him David) who left school just before the global banking crisis, was very keen to get out into the world of work and get a job. His politeness and enthusiasm paid off, and he got a minimum wage job with a discount store, where he worked hard and was always ready to get on his bicycle and go in at short notice, to cover staff absences etc. Then, David became old enough to be paid the adult minimum wage, and was no longer wanted. He had become more expensive, so was sent back to the Jobcentre, his loyalty and hard work disregarded.
Pension age will keep rising, UK chancellor George Osborne announced in his autumn statement today (5 December 2013). Young people now finishing their education will probably have to wait until they are in their 70s. This will have a devastating effect on some areas and sections of society.
UK ministers and their allies are fond of talking about the need to reduce the welfare bill. They give the impression that the welfare bill goes to feckless scroungers, but almost never mention any statistics about who is actually claiming the money.