Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Boot Camp, Not Benefits

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Boot Camp, Not Benefits

Article excerpt

BELFAST, Northern Ireland -- Since his party's impressive election victory in May, Prime Minister David Cameron is moving quickly to fulfill his campaign promise to ensure welfare benefits are no longer a way of life for many of his fellow citizens.

Instead of open-ended benefits for the unemployed, the government, beginning in April 2017, will require young people between 18 and 21 who don't have jobs, but are collecting welfare, to attend three-week "boot camps" to prepare them for work in a rapidly improving economy. If they refuse, they will be denied benefits if they are unemployed for six months.

According to the UK Daily Mail, "Six million Britons are living in homes where no one has a job and benefits are a way of life." In 2008, the newspaper reported on families where no one has worked for three generations. Some are offended at the suggestion they should work. One family interviewed by the Mail claimed the equivalent of $50,000 a year in benefits. Jean Thompson hasn't worked in 40 years. She and nine other members of her family live in a three-bedroom house and think the government should upgrade them to a 10-bedroom home.

The conservative government wants to end the cycle by making sure the next generation doesn't fall into the benefits trap. In addition to boot camps, it is proposing to create 3 million new apprenticeships by 2020, which will allow for on-the-job training.

The entitlement attitude is also deeply rooted in the United States. This week, The Washington Post reported on a New York family it says makes $497,911 annually, but pays just $1,574 a month for a three-bedroom apartment subsidized by taxpayers. In Los Angeles, reports the Post, five people have lived in public housing since 1974. They made $204,784 last year, but paid only $1,091 in rent. In Oxford, Neb., a tenant with assets of $1. …

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