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From The Socialist newspaper, 23 June 2010

Young people: fight for your future!

Jobs and Homes Not Racism - Youth Fight For Jobs banner on anti-EDL demonstration in Tower Hamlets, London, photo East London Socialist Party

Jobs and Homes Not Racism - Youth Fight For Jobs banner on anti-EDL demonstration in Tower Hamlets, London, photo East London Socialist Party   (Click to enlarge)

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.

Mark Nicholson

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.

Action needed

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.

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In The Socialist 23 June 2010:

Stop budget attacks with mass action

Budget cuts hitting the poorest hardest

Youth fight for jobs

Young people: fight for your future!

Youth speak for jobs at UCU union rally

Anti-EDL protest

Protesting at Iain's Dickensian Society

National Shop Stewards Network

The role of the NSSN in the battle to defend public sector jobs and services


Budget Day: workers' responses

Fightback to stop the cuts - public meetings

Bloody Sunday

Bloody Sunday: Innocent protesters murdered by the British army in 1972

Workplace news and analysis

PCS union rejects 'inevitable' cuts

Unison election: Over 42,000 votes for socialist candidate

Unison leadership: Lack of anti-cuts strategy

Fighting cuts in Nottingham: Save the WAP day centre

Workplace news in brief

National Shrewsbury 24 Justice Campaign March and Rally

Socialist Party news and analysis

Refugee and Migrant Justice: Save this vital service!

Afghan war

Coventry rally against public sector cuts

Stop attacks on services for the vulnerable in Nuneaton

Birmingham: Growing anger against cuts

Save South Leeds Pool

Why BP should be nationalised

Socialist Party feature

How deep is Britain's media crisis?

International socialist news and analysis

Ethnic conflict explodes in Kyrgyzstan

Donate to aid Greek socialists


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