26 NOVEMBER 1983, Page 21

Ways and means

Sir: Listening to a radio programme about the great and growing problem of youth unemployment, an elegant scheme presented itself to me, and one which I think might recommend itself highly to the present Cabinet. It is very simple: that a Means Test be applied to the parents of school-leavers.

Those children whose parents were capable of supporting them would fall to the back of the queue, in order of parental income; those whose parents were out of work would go to the head of the queue and be first in the fight for jobs. The crippling syndrome of workless parents sitting at home with workless children would be ended; and for working parents it would become a prestigious thing — an incentive to put their backs still further into their jobs — to be able to answer, when asked what their boy or girl was up to now, 'Oh. Nothing. Nothing at all.'

Eleanor Bron

London WI