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From The Socialist newspaper, 25 February 2015

Worse off than our parents

Tanis Belsham-Wray, Leeds Socialist Party

With the approaching general election, many young people, like me, are looking for answers to the multitude of problems over jobs, pay, housing, and education, etc. One million fewer youths registered to vote in this election highlights how much we feel abandoned by the main parties.

Prime Minister Cameron has stated that, if he gets in again, the Tories will scrap housing benefit for 18-21 year olds. This would plunge young people into poverty and even homelessness as, for many, moving back in with their parents is simply not an option.

The Tories also want to abolish Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) for this age group and replace it with a 'work for your dole' scheme.

Labour's leader Ed Miliband isn't far behind in also attacking young people's rights. Last summer he proposed plans to remove benefits for under 21s and replace them with a 'youth allowance', at the same miserable JSA rate, dependent on the claimant taking part in 'training'. It will be means tested on the parents' income.

Youth unemployment stands at around 17% and the new jobs that have been created in the economy are mainly low paid, zero-hour contracts.

Apprenticeships are also being used by employers to get away with paying young workers as little as 2.73 an hour. It's not surprising that a study by Oxford University has found people born in the 1980s are more likely to be worse off than their parents' generation.

Enough is enough. We need a new, mass party which represents us and the rest of the working class. We need a 10 an hour minimum wage now and the scrapping of zero-hour contracts.

We need to stop schemes that penalise the young unemployed, such as workfare, and instead invest resources into building much needed council homes and restoring public services to provide decently paid and secure jobs.

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In The Socialist 25 February 2015:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Kick out corrupt politicians

End the housing crisis!

Councils at breaking point: the strategy to fight back

Put the bankers in the stocks!

Defend the right to protest

Them & Us


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

May Day greetings: Implacable resolve of lowest paid

Nine-fold growth for Grimsby Socialists

Campaign news in brief


International socialist news and analysis

Greece: Syriza at a crossroad

Ireland: five anti-water charges protesters jailed


2015 elections

Bristol Greens back 'shocking' austerity policies

Warrington 'vanity project' youth service cuts

With friends like these, who needs enemies?

Election appeal: Funded by you - not by big business


Socialist Party workplace news

Left scares Usdaw leadership in elections

Unison activists challenge New Labour

Socialists in Unison call for solidarity with PCS

How to strike against privatisation


Reviews and readers' comments

When women's solidarity won battle for trawlermen

Worse off than our parents

Fight tuition fees - support the TUSC alternative

TV football deal: Reclaim the game for the fans


Socialist history

50 years on: the assassination of Malcolm X


 

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Related links:

Young people:

triangleHow can students and young people fight the Tories?

triangleFailing academy chain strips school assets - end academisation!

triangleTunisia: explosion of protests against government austerity

triangleSweden: School strike against deportations

triangleMovement challenges Iranian regime

Parents:

triangleNewham: school strike solid against academy

triangleTwo in five 'right to buy' homes now for let

triangleSchool staff strike against privatisation

triangleTeachers strike in Sheffield

Jobs:

triangleSupermarket's slash jobs - union fightback needed

triangleMerseyrail protest

triangleSouthampton Socialist Party: The collapse of Carillion

Zero-hour contracts:

triangleAmy Murphy for Usdaw president - vote for a fighting and democratic union

triangleYoung people being strangled by debts

Youth:

triangleTamil youth march for justice

Housing:

triangleHaringey protests HDV - but Labour fails to kill it off completely

JSA:

triangleDWP to outsource more work to Capita

Election:

triangleBlairite mayor faces open election after democratic 'irregularities' - fight for a no-cuts mayor

Benefits:

triangleMajority of kids poor in some areas

Apprenticeships:

triangleFerrybridge workers protest against 'race to bottom'

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