The former Chief Secretary to the Treasury said: "I really didn't regard it as a big thing and I only mentioned it almost by accident at a press conference that we held a few days in to the government, not expecting rather naively, the huge reaction that it got."
A Birmingham MP has slammed government proposals to cut housing benefits for under 25s. He says it is a half-baked plan that will punish the young people in his consituency.
"There are thousands and thousands of young people who are giving up hope. In my constituency, which has the highest rate of unemployment in the country, people are saying they don't even bother signing on anymore because there's going to be no help on offer."
"Despair is beginning to set in amongst a lot of young people. That's why our message is clear- we would put in place a fair tax on bank bonuses, we would use that money to create thousands of training places for young people."