I am twenty-four years old and so I fall within the category of people whom you, the Chancellor, would like to disenfranchise of their economic right to benefits and state support in a prosperous welfare state (see The Evening Standard Story here). I have needed benefits to survive in the past and without it I would not be where I am today. I suppose that there are many others like me who, with even the most basic tools, could get ahead. Would you take these tools away from them? Maybe you can make the argument that there are not enough people like me to warrant state generosity to the masses. I disagree. Within the mass of unemployed youth is an untapped opportunity to expand British relations with the world, make money and give real life experience to our youth. I will lay down my plan simply here but it is not a simplistic armchair commentator’s suggestion. I intend to place think tanks on the task of fleshing it out into a workable model.
I propose that the youth of Britain be sent overseas on Government programmes backed by Britain, the host countries and local lending institutions. Let us use Jamaica as an example host country. Britain would send one thousand unemployed youths to Jamaica with the mandate to explore micro-enterprise opportunities there. Their Job Seekers Allowance would be paid directly to them and their housing benefits would be paid to the government of Jamaica .
Start-up and Go
The Jamaican government would be called on to invest one billion Jamaican dollars for the building of two hundred five bedroom houses for the housing of one thousand young people. The British government would be called on to spend two hundred million Jamaican dollars for the equipment and furnishing of these houses. The amount paid for housing benefits to young people is a matter of public record. I can firmly say that the rent received by the Jamaican government based on today’s exchange rate would be five hundred and seventy four million one hundred and fifty eight thousand Jamaican dollars. What this means is that the project would pay for itself in two years. The community created would spend two hundred and forty two thousand four hundred and eighty pounds per month. This spending would create jobs for Jamaicans and go a short way towards alleviating poverty and facilitating social exchange. These are benefits for Jamaica but Great Britain would benefit from the change in outlook that would be achieved from these young people living on their own abroad. Each individual would be required to submit to the body managing the community a fully researched business plan for a micro-enterprise project in Jamaica. This would be the equivalent of signing on. In year two they would implement this plan with funding from local banks while they continue to receive benefits from the government. After two years the business would be expected to be fully operational, staffed and autonomous. The young person would then be free to return to Britain as a hero in their own right and take up a job in one of the large corporations with the work experience and life skills they have gained. What would qualify them for these jobs? Struggle, living independently, the invention which springs from necessity; they would have done all that they did using only the wealth of time on their hands and the basic financial support necessary to survive.
Why this would work.
I say to you Mr. Osborne instead of subjecting the youth to the soul deadening process of applying for jobs which they will never get or lowering their standards to dead end jobs which have no prospects, liberate them by giving them the chance to earn their place in the world society. Allow them controlled struggle and the hope of returning to Britain a hero. Exile has been proven to do a world of good for leaders in the making. If you need a historical president then you need only look to South American Empires of the past who expelled the young aristocracy with the mandate to build their own wealth instead of living off past fortunes made. If you need a more recent example of how a young person from a foreign country made it in a hostile environment then you need only look to me. I have made it in a country with costs five times as high as those in Jamaica and I understand that the lessons I have learnt are work experience in and of itself. Read my story and you will find a model for the peaceful exchange of insights by young people from Britain to the rest of the world. The Caribbean East Atlantic Company Limited is willing to broker this deal with the Jamaican government and manage the one thousand residents of this new community provided that you feel it is a good idea. I call on you as leader of Britain’s finances to believe in the youth of your country that they are capable of great things. Do not strip them of their birthright as an election promise.
My name is Peter Campbell. I am twenty four years old and the Managing Director of Caribbean East Atlantic Company Limited (Company Number: 08777678); lobbying on behalf of the youth of Britain.