Yesterday you will probably have seen some of the Conservatives’ first budget in 18 years, outlining a number of plans for the next year and beyond, with many of them focusing their sights on young people.
It has been a direct assault on both the most vulnerable and also the young people in our society. Despite talking of a ‘One Nation Britain’, the Conservative Party have used their first budget in nearly two decades to create an even deeper divide between young and old, rich and poor.
Housing Benefits Scrapped for Under-21s
Many of the people who receive housing benefit - particularly those who will be affected by this decision - are in circumstances which they did not ask for and do not want to be in, not fortunate enough to have parents who are able to support them and give them a roof over their heads. The right to shelter is a fundamental human right.In a developed country,such as the UK, those who are unable to afford this should be helped to get on their feet, not cast off by the state. Liberal Youth condemns discrepancies in benefits based on age, gender, sexuality, disability or any other factor. Those who are in real need of support should get it, with no single group automatically disqualified.
University Grants Abolished
The Conservatives have introduced plans to scrap the grants that many of the least advantaged students receive to support them as they continue on in their education. This means that those most in need of the support while at university are losing a lifeline which allows them to get by.Instead, they are pushed into more debt and potentially being put off going to university. Getting a part-time job while studying is simply not an option for many students, nor is financial support from their family.
Pay rise, but not for young people
Under the pretense of providing the country with a pay rise, under-25s have been excluded from the Chancellor’s “living wage” plans.It is simply not fair that someone working the same job, the same hours and for the same company should not be paid the same wage. Liberal Youth condemn making this distinction, particularly at setting it at such a high age, when many young people have a high level of education, training and experience under their belts.
What’s more, these “living wage” plans proposed by the Chancellor are already below the minimum wage which would have existed if kept in line with inflation from its introduction in 1999, and falls even further behind when his changes to working tax credits are included also.