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."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
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

Recruitment Genius: Client Relationship Assistant / Business Support

£18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you willing to give fantastic Custom...

Recruitment Genius: Administrative Assistant / Assistant Document Controller

£11000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Greenwich based firm of Archite...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £50,000

£25000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £50,000

£25000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

Day In a Page

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum