Stealing again from the Labour manifesto Osborne said a National Living Wage will become law but in Osborne's case that simply means re-branding the minimum wage as a national living wage and few positive changes in real terms.
The 'national living wage' will be £9 an hour at least by 2020 announced Osborne but what will that figure be worth five years on? If you are aged 25 and over it will be £7.20 by 2016; but if you are aged under 25 expect to take a hit. Those aged under 21 are left out in the cold literally.
Housing benefit for under-21s is being scrapped. As someone married at 20 plus with both parents dead by the time she was 23 I wonder how that can be viewed as fair and a one nation policy?
The current over 25's minimum wage is £6.50 an hour and many workers receive tax credit income top-ups. The double whammy is tax credit thresholds are being cut-in other words Osborne is giving with one hand and taking away with the other and the overall winner is the treasury.
18-21 year-olds will be obliged to earn or learn and they will not receive housing benefit if they live away from home.
The new Universal Credit due to replace six working age benefits is being rolled out but again young people are excluded. Expect Iain Duncan Smith's UC to be tweaked once it is in place. Any IDS tweaks will be negative if you are unlucky and have to claim financial help from the state.
Osborne obviously expects parents to step up to the mark and fund their children into adulthood but that is not practical for all.
The following is from the government's own website and shows how times change:
Young people will receive greater incentives to get into work under Universal Credit, Minister for Welfare Reform Lord Freud said today (8 June 2012).
That article is headed "This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government" and we are now experiencing a Tory party budget pure and simple.
They no longer need that 'incentive' to make young people work as the lifeline of benefits is cut.
Measures announced and promoted by Chancellor Osborne as fair are far from it. He may believe that making young people stay at home further into adulthood is the right move but people are not a one-size-fits-all. Just because some young people stay at home until they have a career, prospects, money in the bank and more does not mean those options are available to all.
Employers may now opt for younger workers who will be cheaper. But what happens when they reach 21 or 25? You may say it is fair that you earn less until you are more experienced in the workplace but that applies to all new employees of all ages.
As retirement ages are pushed up in the UK expect more older people to be out of work. As social security is abandoned they will be left to sink or swim.
No matter what scenario you look at this budget is flawed but then it is a typical Tory budget.