Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/856/20722
Tory war on youth
■ Protest at re-opening of parliament on 27 May
Ian Pattison, Youth Fight for Jobs
Shock and disgust at the election of a Tory government has quickly turned into anger and action.
Thousands of mainly young people have already taken to the streets against a government with no mandate for austerity. Only 24% of the electorate voted Conservative, with 16 and 17-year-olds denied the right to vote.
At the moment the Tories are riding high on their surprise win. This will make them overshoot themselves, trying to force through austerity measures that have no support.
They have already announced devastating plans. At least another £30 billion in cuts - including slashing £12 billion from welfare.
Part of this will be a war on young people. Unemployed 18 to 21-year-olds will be refused benefits if they don't sign up to a 'work for your dole' scheme. Either they start a poverty-pay apprenticeship, or do 30 hours a week unpaid 'community work' plus ten hours' job search.
Housing benefit will be removed from all under-21s. Overnight, thousands more could be turfed out onto the streets.
Youth Fight for Jobs is calling protests across the country on Wednesday 27 May, when the Tories announce these plans in the Queen's speech at the re-opening of parliament.
Living standards are lower today than five years ago - for the first time since records began. Exploitative zero-hour contracts and poverty pay are now the norm for many young people. Tuition fees have tripled to £9,000 and decent housing costs a small fortune.
Austerity isn't all bad, of course. The wealth of Britain's thousand richest individuals has doubled - to £547 billion since the start of the economic crisis.
This government can be beaten. Thatcher was brought down by a mass movement against the hated and unfair poll tax. 18 million refused to pay what was in reality a fine for being poor.
Cameron and his friends were terrified when hundreds of thousands of students marched and occupied for free education. They were shaken by the two million public sector workers striking in 2011.
Firefighters, bus drivers and railway staff have all been on strike this year, with many others. Thousands marching in civil disobedience on the streets - linked with workers taking strike action - can stop austerity.
The Socialist Party demands
- End austerity - no to five more years of cuts to jobs, education and public services
- Reverse welfare cuts - no compulsory 'workfare' for 18 to 21-year-olds - defend housing benefit
- Fight poverty pay - raise the minimum wage to £10 an hour now - scrap zero-hour contracts
- Defend education - no to cuts, privatisation and tuition fees
- Democratic rights - stop attacks on the right to strike, protest and our civil liberties - for proportional representation and votes at 16
Protest against the Queen's speech
Wednesday 27 May
London: 4.30pm at Downing Street
Protests happening in towns and cities up and down the country - check out youthfightforjobs.com to find one near you!
Show your support
- Click 'attending' on the national Facebook event
- Share with your friends
- Join the protests on the day
- Text 'JOIN' plus your name and postcode to 0774 937 9010
- Facebook Youth Fight for Jobs
- Twitter @youthfight4jobs
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org
In The Socialist 20 May 2015:
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