Most teenage pregnancies unwanted, says Gordon Brown

Gordon Brown today said he would prefer teenage girls not to get pregnant, claiming the vast majority of the pregnancies were unwanted.

But he appeared unable to say how many young mothers would be affected by his proposal to put them in supervised accommodation if there was not a family member to look after them.



Yesterday in his keynote address Mr Brown unveiled the policy aimed at preventing young parents from automatically getting a council home.



The Prime Minister said it was not right that a 16-year-old girl could "get pregnant, be given the keys to a council flat and be left on her own".



Instead, he told the Labour Party's annual conference in Brighton, groups of young mothers and fathers would be taught responsibility and how to raise their children "properly".



Quizzed about the policy on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Mr Brown said there were 20,000 teenage pregnancies every year and they were unwanted "in almost every case".



He would prefer a family member to be able to look after a 16 or 17-year-old parent but if that was not the case and they wanted benefits they would go into hostel-style accommodation, which "seems to work".



He said: "We think there is about 20,000 teenage pregnancies every year. They would have to make a choice.



"We would prefer people who are teenagers ... we would prefer them not to become pregnant because these are unwanted pregnancies in almost every case.



"The second thing is we would prefer a mother or a parent or a family to take care of them.



"But if that is not the case and they are coming to ask for taxpayer support, at the moment because of housing need with a young child and being homeless they can get council accommodation in some cases."



Mr Brown added: "About two thirds of those who get accommodation from the Government or local authorities go into council houses. I don't think that is right because they are living on their own and they are living in a way that doesn't change their lives.



"There is a third at the moment who go into hostel accommodation - that seems to work."



But asked how may young women that was, Mr Brown said: "We think at the moment two thirds go into council houses and we will have to make provision for the extra houses but that again is costed in our budget.



"It is cheaper for us in the long run not to have to build a social house at £60,000 and provide accommodation in a centre or a foyer for less than that."

News
The Edge and his wife, Morleigh Steinberg, at the Academy Awards in 2014
peopleGuitarist faces protests over plan to build mansions in Malibu
Sport
Cristiano Ronaldo in action for Real Madrid
football
News
i100
News
The comedian, 42, made the controversial comment following the athlete’s sentencing to five years for the culpable homicide of Reeva Steenkamp on Tuesday
peopleComedian's quip about Reeva Steenkamp was less than well received at music magazine awards
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

HE Dyslexia Tutor/Study Skills Tutor P/T

£21 - £22 per hour: Randstad Education Leeds: Randstad Education has been help...

Newly Qualified Teachers

£90 - £115 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: We are currently seeking dy...

IT & Business Studies Teacher

£120 - £162 per day: Randstad Education Hull: ICT & Business Studies Teacher f...

IT Support Engineer (1st and 2nd Line) - London

£22000 - £24000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: IT Support Engineer (1st...

Day In a Page

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?