POLITICS
20/11/2013 11:21 GMT | Updated 20/11/2013 11:22 GMT

Think-Tank Insists It Doesn't Want To Strip Benefits From Young People After Twitter Row

Yui Mok/PA Wire
Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Rachel Reeves outside the Houses of Parliament, central London.

This morning The Daily Telegraph led with a story that Labour was considering banning people under the age of 25 from claiming unemployment benefits.

The report caused a mini-row, with left-wing columnist Owen Jones insisting that Labour should not be "kicking the young". He said: "All parties are responsible for the youth unemployment crisis. Punishing the young for it would be unforgivable." The story was based on the notion that Labour would pick up plans to be published by the The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) think-tank.

Labour insisted The Daily Telegraph headline - Labour: We'll scrap benefits for under 25s-had been "totally overblown" and shadow work and pensions secretary Rachel Reeves distanced herself from the report. In a blog published on Labour List at midday Reeves insisted: "Labour will make getting people into work a priority, while the Tories just blame young people for their youth jobs crisis."

Writing for The Huffington Post UK, the research director at IPPR Graeme Cooke insisted his think-tank was "not proposing to do away with welfare support for young people".

"In a our new report out today, we propose a separate welfare system for young people that focusses on getting them back into education, training or employment," he writes.

"IPPR are proposing several reforms. A new 'youth allowance' should replace existing out of work benefits for 18-24 year olds and provide financial support for young people who need it, conditional on participation in purposeful training or intensive job search. Access to inactive benefits should be closed off for all but a very small minority."