Young people are our future. It is through them that the country will grow and become more productive. They shape the society we become.
And yet their lives are being blighted: new jobs are overwhelmingly insecure and low paid, rents and house prices are unaffordably high and for the first time studies show that children are likely to have a lower standard of living than their parents.
It didn’t have to be like this. We spent many years improving education and encouraging our children to become skilled and productive adults. Our school results are better than ever. However, this Tory-led coalition chose to slash the measures to support our young people into education and work.
Osborne cut the successful Future Jobs Fund, which guaranteed unemployed youngsters a job for 6 months. Educational Maintenance Allowance was scrapped. Tuition fees have been raised to an eye watering £9000 a year. Connexions, a vital national service that offered support and employment advice, was closed down.
And now, when youth unemployment, unsurprisingly, has remained stubbornly and unacceptably high, Cameron has announced that struggling young people who can’t find work, or are between insecure jobs, are feckless and lazy and will be ineligible for housing benefit and jobseekers’ allowance if under the age of 25.
I am shocked that the Liberal Democrats joined the Tories in making young people, for whom life is hard enough already, the scapegoats for our economic woes. Labour has policies, such as the jobs guarantee and a housebuilding programme, to help them to get back on track and to offer hope for the future. We need to win in 2015.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know what more you think we could be doing to help our young people. Also, please will you sign the petition opposing unqualified teachers teaching our children in academies and free schools: http://action.labour.org.uk/page/s/gove-petition