Socialist Party books and pamphlets

The Case for Socialism (2009)

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Young people

Youth Fight for Jobs campaigning outside parlilament, photo

Youth Fight for Jobs campaigning outside parlilament, photo

Half a million, one in five, young people were unemployed even before economic crisis hit. As it has developed they have been disproportionately affected, along with women and migrant workers.

More likely to be employed in insecure jobs, they are more likely to be thrown on the scrapheap of unemployment.

Most students have relied on low paid service sector jobs to pay their way through university - these are now much harder to come by.

In 2007, 22.4% of students dropped out of university in their first year - many for financial reasons.

Their numbers are now growing. More likely not to have an established credit record or, if they have been to university to have already accumulated mountainous debts, they are far more likely to be refused credit by the post-credit crunch banks.

Those a few years older may have managed to grab hold of the bottom rung of the property ladder because they were able to take out what can only be described as sub-prime mortgages (and in some cases now face losing their homes).

The younger generation are often not able to get a mortgage at all. Some young people will look to the trade unions and labour movement as a means to fight back. Others will initially feel powerless in the face of this onslaught on their living conditions. No wonder that even Brendan Barber, general secretary of the Trades Union Congress, has warned that riots are likely to erupt in Britain's cities.

Rioting, while an understandable reaction of rage to the crisis of capitalism, does not offer a way forward.

On the basis of experience increasing numbers of young people will look to get organised in order to fight back around a socialist programme.

A socialist programme for young people would start with the right to high quality training, and a job and/or college place for every school leaver.

It would also include the abolition of tuition fees and the immediate introduction of a living grant.

To do this for all students would cost a maximum of 15 billion per year. It would also mean introducing a living minimum wage of at least 8 an hour, with no exemptions on the grounds of age, or any other basis.

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