Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/630/9866
Young people: fight for your future!
The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show that unemployment has risen by 23,000 since April. On average there are five benefit claimants for every one job vacancy throughout the UK. This is the grim reality of how ordinary people are being affected by the crisis.
The figures show a noticeable north-south divide. Scotland, the North East and Yorkshire each have six claimants for every vacancy whereas further south there are around four.
However, London is the worst hit area with a ratio of eight to one. Seven out of the ten unemployment blackspots are in the capital. Top of the list is Hackney with a staggering statistic of one job to every 24 claimants!
In Lewisham, third on the list, the ratio stands at 14 to one. Despite this, the government has decided to close the jobcentre in Deptford, transferring all Job Seeker's Allowance (JSA) claimants three miles away to Catford with no intention of subsidising travel.
Young people are hit particularly brutally, with close to a million unemployed 16-25 year olds already.
School and college students who leave education in the next couple of months will find few options open to them.
Cuts to the planned increase in the number of university places means that thousands of eligible students will be denied access to higher education.
The latest figures prove that many will have nowhere to go other than to join the 2.47 million people on the dole queue.
When Youth Fight for Jobs members protested outside Iain Duncan Smith's surgery last week, this new government secretary for Work and Pensions could only shrug when asked what he expects young people to do (see page ten).
His Labour opposition counterpart in Parliament, Yvette Cooper, meanwhile claimed that it would be "mad" for the government to be cutting support for jobs at this time.
However, despite Labour's attempts to pass themselves off as being opposed to all these cuts, in reality they would be doing exactly the same.
The Tories are merely continuing New Labour's neoliberal policies of putting the interests of big businesses before those of ordinary people.
We need to build a united campaign of workers, the unemployed and students, led by the trade unions to demand a future for young people.
We should fight for a mass programme of job creation instead of job cuts, decent benefits for those out of work and a minimum wage of at least £8 an hour.
All we hear from both the government and the mainstream press are the sickening cries of Cameron and Clegg's love child, TINA - There Is No Alternative. They will never acknowledge that there is an alternative; a socialist alternative.
But for the millions bearing the burden of the crisis, it will become unendurable and they will seek an alternative.
In The Socialist 23 June 2010:
Youth fight for jobs
National Shop Stewards Network
Workplace news and analysis
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party feature
International socialist news and analysis