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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:

triangleDurham Miners' Gala 2018

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triangleUS: "We've had to build a huge culture of resistance"

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Parents:

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triangleSpringfield school strike in Birmingham against job cuts and workload

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triangleJordan: Workers and youth remove prime minister and demand end to austerity

Housing:

triangleCardiff Socialist Party: The housing crisis - A socialist solution

JSA:

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Election:

triangleCorbyn must end false unity with Labour's right

Benefits:

triangleUniversal credit causes £24m rent arrears

Apprenticeships:

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