Former Education Secretary David Blunkett has ridiculed proposals to fine teenagers who fail to stay in education or training until the age of 18.
A new Education and Skills Bill, confirmed in the Queen's Speech on Tuesday, will require children to stay in education until the age of 18.
Teenagers who refuse to stay on face spot fines of £50 or court fines of £200. Parents could also be fined.
"I'm against the idea... that deeply damaged young men and women could somehow be fined and it would make them go into education or training. I think it's cloud-cuckoo land," Mr Blunkett told BBC Radio 4's Any Questions.
Mr Blunkett, who was education secretary from 1997 to 2001, said he agreed that education or training should continue to the age of 18 but said fines for those who do not comply would be misguided.
He said it was important to work with young teenagers who truant because they feel alienated and offer them one day a week in college or work.
Those aged 16 and 17 should be offered the chance to volunteer and engage in projects which have "nothing to do with traditional college courses", he added.
For once, I have to agree with the blind pervert. Besides, it will most likely be the parents of these children who will end up paying their children's fines for them.