'Cut the cash!': Nick Ferrari backs proposal to scrap benefits for parents of truanting children

1 March 2023, 12:49

Nick Ferrari: Other countries would 'kill' for UK's free education

By Alice Bourne

Nick Ferrari weighs in on Michael Gove's comments about parents of truanting children having their child benefits removed saying, "It's your responsibility to get your son or daughter to the free education that some countries on this planet would kill for!"

Nick slammed those that disagreed with the proposal: "Where is the idea of individual responsibility... when you become a parent you don't actually rely on the state for absolutely everything, it is there if you fall on hard times."

He added: "It's your responsibility to get your son or daughter to the free education that some countries on this planet would kill for!"

Nick's comments come after Michael Gove's suggestion, that parents should face child benefit cuts if they fail to ensure their children turn up at school. He said the idea could help restore an "ethic of responsibility" as he attempts to pursue his agenda as levelling up secretary.

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Michael Gove
Michael Gove. Picture: alamy

The idea was first proposed by Gove in 2014 when he suggested the idea would help tackle anti-social behaviour and has been strongly opposed by teaching unions and poverty campaigners.

Government advice on the topic currently states: "You can be prosecuted if you do not give your child an education. You’ll normally get warnings and offers of help from the local council first."

Councils can already fine parents £60 if their children do not show up for school.

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children in school
Councils can already fine parents £60 if their children do not show up for school. . Picture: alamy

Nick asked Deven Ghelani from Policy in Practise, "When an outreach worker goes and knocks on the door and the parents still have absolutely no interest... what do you do then?"

Mr Ghelani, who was an architect of the universal credit system, responded that he didn't agree that cutting child benefit "is the answer", but when pushed by Nick about what he would do for an eight-year-old whose parents won't open the door to social services, Mr Ghelani could not answer.

This prompted Nick to conclude, "the only way you might knock on the door and get an answer is if you cut the cash."

Read More: Nick Ferrari slams West Yorkshire police over Quran School incident

During his think tank speech Michael Gove also subtly criticised Liz Truss by pointing to the problems of “placing the abstract goal of global free trade ahead of the economic welfare of all of us as citizens”, suggesting the government will renew its focus in this area.

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