Youth is wasted on the Coalition. A million reasons why we need a change of direction.
To be without work is hard – especially to be without a first job – a feeling of no future.
Young people in higher education learning the lesson that you don’t own debt – it owns you.
Most people will know someone – whether it be their own children, or other people’s children – who do not have work and will be experiencing the pain of unemployment. As the cuts begin to become real, as their impact becomes apparent, as the failure of the nonsense of austerity becomes evident, we now owe more than at the outset of the crisis.
The question arises: “What is the legacy for future generations?”
We have been told that we must clear down the debt – yet it is increasing. Over the lifetime of this Parliament, the Coalition Government is going to borrow £150 billion more than its own forecast.
Rather than expanding the economy – and thereby reducing the deficit naturally – the Government is forcing the economy to a halt, causing the deficit to increase.
We’ve been told they’re doing this for future generations, yet a million young people can see nothing but unemployment or, should they be a student, a lifetime of debt.
The Labour leader, Ed Miliband, has said: “The Coalition has broken the promise to the next generation of an improvement in living standards. This is an important insight. Progress is achieved by effective economic management on behalf of the whole of society. The Coalition Government is encouraging the rich while taxing the poor. No wonder living standards are being pinched badly.”
In my view, the Labour movement must make a simple promise to young people and the electorate of the UK. We will support a government that agrees to educate, employ and house the next generation.
We know that, even in difficult times, such ambitious promises can be achieved. That’s what the 1945-51 Labour Government did. It is also what subsequent Labour governments did at their best.
The Government borrows capital at the cost of 1.5% – private employers can, at best, hope for a rate of around 5%. So it’s cheaper and more efficient for the Government to push a through a programme of investment in improved education, employment creation and house building.
Surely, an election campaign can be won if we’re prepared to educate, employ and house the next generation.
In any moment of decision the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing is to do nothing.
- Theodore Roosevelt 26th President of the United States – born October 1858 – Died January 1919.