Youth fight austerity!

Youth fight austerity!   (Click to enlarge: opens in new window)

Ryan Aldred

A damning study by the Young Women’s Trust has found that 18 to 30 year olds are living in a “suspended adulthood” due to a combination of lack of work and low pay.

For many young people this won’t come as a surprise when faced with the harsh realities of zero-hour contracts and the growing ‘gig economy’. On top of this, with rising tuition fees many are left with crippling debts reaching up to £50,000 by the time they reach 21.

Is it any wonder then, that worries about the future and a feeling of being worn down were the most prevalent themes reported throughout the study?

43% of 18 to 30 year olds surveyed reported that they were still living at home. So, not only will this generation face living conditions worse than those of their parents, but many are being forced to move back in with their parents due to a lack of job prospects and financial insecurity.

The Tories have committed to a national ‘living wage’ of £9 an hour by 2020. This increase doesn’t even apply to those under the age of 25. 18 to 20 year olds currently have to scrape by on £5.30 an hour.

The Trade Union Congress has argued that £10 an hour would be necessary for a genuine living wage – in 2016.

We need serious investment in our future if millennials are not to be written off as a lost generation. As the fifth richest economy it is not unreasonable to demand that we invest in our future.

The Socialist Party stands for:

  • An immediate increase in the minimum wage to £10 an hour with no youth exemptions
  • An end to zero-hour contracts – secure contracts with guaranteed hours. Flexibility for workers, not the bosses!
  • Free education and maintenance grants to cover the cost of living while studying
  • Investment in public services and infrastructure to create decent jobs for all
  • A massive programme of council house building and rent control to make homes genuinely affordable