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From The Socialist newspaper, 20 May 2015

Tory war on youth

■ Protest at re-opening of parliament on 27 May

photo Paul Mattsson

photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

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.

Young people

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

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 to find one near you!

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Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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In The Socialist 20 May 2015:

Socialist Party news and analysis

Cut rents not benefits

Fight back at the Tory war on youth

Stop the "elites fortifying their power"

Build a movement to defeat the government's savagery

Labour leadership contest - appealing to big business

Fight Tories' new 'anti-extremism' law

State and big business spied on activists

Ukip provocateur unmasked

Them & Us

Socialist Party workplace news

Support the National Rail walkout over pay and jobs

FBU debates how to combat Tory onslaught

All-out pay strike forces Labour council back to table

ITV production staff

Workplace news in brief

International socialist news and analysis

US: Bernie Sanders calls for 'political revolution'

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Election aftermath: anti-Tory austerity protests

Cheapskate council screws up election ballot!

Build up resources to fight the Tories

Management thrashed in academies debate

Campaign news in brief

Socialist Party comments and reviews

Russell Brand's 'The Emperor's New Clothes'

Save our 'life saver' libraries!

Tories rig exams to favour rich students


Home   |   The Socialist 20 May 2015   |   Join the Socialist Party

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