Going to the recent TUC Conference in Brighton re-affirmed to me the importance of encouraging young people to attend the TUC march on October 20.
Austerity measures are hitting the most vulnerable the hardest and young people and students are bearing the brunt of many of the cuts. We need to stand up to this Tory-led government and push for an alternative.
The jobs, benefits and services that are being cut are predominantly relied on by women and this has serious consequences for women’s equality. Changes to the Working Tax Credit will have an unfair impact on parents who have children with disabilities and struggle to work longer hours due to caring responsibilities; these parents risk losing their Working Tax Credit as a result of not being able to work longer hours. The government has unfairly limited Employment Support Allowance to twelve months and has failed to ensure that the Personal Independence Payments, which replaced the Disability Living Allowance, work fairly. These are just a few examples of the unfair and damaging policies being pursued by this government.
I will be marching because I believe that the coalition government’s attack on young people, workers, women, disabled people and others in society is unacceptable. We cannot let the government get away with what they are doing. It’s important that we unite to ensure a fairer deal for those in work and a brighter future for all of the young people out of work.
With youth unemployment standing at over a million, prospects for those who are about to leave school, college or university are bleak. Youth unemployment is bad for individuals, bad for society and bad for the economy, and we need to fight for a future that works.
Cuts to education funding, the scrapping of the Future Jobs Fund and the loss of Connexions are all having a serious impact on young people’s futures. These actions are detrimental to creating growth and increasing employment and we need to tell the government that we won’t stand for that.
Trade unions are doing a fantastic job of giving a voice to those being affected by the cuts, including young people, and we as young people need to be working with them and speaking up for ourselves.
It is so important that Young Labour and Labour Students have a big presence at the march to show our support for the work of the TUC. Fairness and equality are at the heart of our Labour movement and this government’s actions are putting those at risk. This is why, as a young person being affected by the cuts, I’ll be organising for university Labour clubs and Young Labour groups around the country to attend.
I will be marching as a proud young member of Unite and the GMB, and I would encourage other young people and students to join me and my trade union colleagues on October 20.