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Freya Potter says stop the attacks on young people by Government
8:10am Sunday 15th July 2012 in Letters
Stop the attacks on young people I ATTENDED the Young Labour National Conference representing the constituency Labour Party of north Hereford.
Young Labour is for members under 27 and is the largest youth wing of the three main political parties. My experience at the conference confirmed my belief that Labour is the party which truly values young people and is prepared to put up a fight against the damaging policies of the coalition.
The government has begun a vicious and dramatic attack on young people and the fact that the Tory/Lib Dem coalition does not have a legitimate mandate for the changes they are enforcing make it even more outrageous.
The scrapping of the educational maintenance allowance and the failure to introduce an alternative means that thousands of young people in Hereford and more deprived areas cannot now afford the basic travel and equipment costs to carry on at college, severely limiting their future prospects. The current level of youth unemployment is a crisis which the government is refusing to tackle effectively.
The Lib Dems’ betrayal on tuition fees has not been forgiven or forgotten; the drop in university applications this year demonstrates that potential students have been put off by the extortionate increase.
Michael Gove’s latest attack on the education system, his suggestion to bring back the divisive O-levels, shows his disregard for less ‘academic’ pupils. His insistence that GCSEs and A levels are easy to excel in is frankly insulting to all young people and teachers.
In the last few days David Cameron has announced his proposals to cut housing benefits for people under 25, citing his usual excuse that all benefit claimants are lazy scroungers not doing ‘the right thing’. In fact, less than one per cent of benefit spending is fraudulent (£1.2 billion) whereas at least £25bn is lost through tax avoidance by the richest in the country every year.
Young Labour voted for fighting youth homelessness to be its priority campaign and also passed motions to fight exploitative private landlords, create more social housing and a million green jobs, reintroduce EMA and give proper support to young carers.
I understand the general sense of apathy to party politics felt by young people at the moment, but I urge them to get involved with Labour Students or Young Labour because they are the party fighting for our future, unlike the Conservatives and the Lib Dems.
Get in touch via herefordshire firstname.lastname@example.org and @HfdYoungLab on Twitter.
FREYA POTTER, Byford, Hereford.
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