To be young and poor is a criminal act.

If there’s one group of people that have been repeatedly on the wrong end of the cuts, it’s young people. No more EMA, no more youth service. No more Connexions, no more jobs, no housing benefit and now, you’ll be put on workfare if you can’t find a job that doesn’t exist.

The idea is that 18-21 year olds will have 6 months to find a job. If they don’t manage to do that, they’ll be put on “Youth Allowance” (which, conveniently is the same amount as JSA – £57.35 a week) and be told they have to undertake 30 hours a week of community service. And 10 hours of job searching. £57.35 a week for 30 hours work comes out at just over £1.90 per hour.

According to the first thing that popped up when I typed “unemployment statistics young people” into Google, 740,000 16-24 year olds were unemployed in the period October to December 2014, 201,000 of which had been unemployed for over 12 months. Let’s take a random shot in the dark and say 500,000 young people would’ve been unemployed for 6 months and therefore required to go on the “Youth Allowance”.

Where do we find volunteering and community work places for 500,000 young people? For 30 hours a week each? Cameron suggests “cleaning litter or graffiti” at which point I think it’s very clear the meaning behind these new requirements.

The young people who are most likely to be unemployed for more than six months, who haven’t gone to uni, who haven’t secured an “unpaid internship” will be the most vulnerable young people from the poorest backgrounds.

To be young and poor is to be treated like a criminal.

Mr Cameron in his infinite wisdom, has made very clear what he thinks of young people. If you’re able to get the grades and go to uni (which we’ll charge you a fortune for) and get work then you’re a striver! You’re also much more likely to be middle class, not live in social housing and not have a family who are living on the welfare system. If your background is that way, well, we already know that you’re going to follow in their scrounging sponging footsteps, and so we’ll make sure you’re put in your place as quickly as possible.

“That well-worn path – from the school gate, down to the jobcentre, and on to a life on benefits – has got to be rubbed away,” Mr Cameron said. (BBC News, 20th February 2015)

This government has taken every ounce of support from young people with one hand, and used the other hand to point the finger at them and say “This is YOUR fault”. They have said “you’re not worth paying for work, you’re not worth helping because we have given up on you”. They have criminalised being young and poor.

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10 Comments on “To be young and poor is a criminal act.”

  1. Tony Taylor says:

    Reblogged this on IN DEFENCE OF YOUTH WORK and commented:
    Thoughts from Emsy on volunteering for the ‘Youth Allowance’

  2. Tony Taylor says:

    Reblogged on In Defence of Youth Work

  3. […] If there’s one group of people that have been repeatedly on the wrong end of the cuts, it’s young people, according to EmsyBlog. […]

  4. Chris says:

    THE VOTE OR STARVE ELECTION
    There are 4 million young people not registered to vote and
    young people who are registered do not come out to vote.

    There are tens of millions of poor, made even more impoverished year on year, by an austerity when there is no UK national debt (OECD call UK’s debt only a world average).

    LOW VOTER TURNOUT HELPS SMALL PARTIES WIN BIG

    This general election Thursday 7 May gives the best bet for small parties

    That would help all the poor, of whatever age, equally,
    as with low voter turnout
    the smallest parties have the best chance of gaining an MP.

    And the poor outnumber all other voters in so many so-called marginals.

    MPs THAT COULD CHANGE HUNG PARLIAMENT

    The alternatives on offer to end all this brutal benefits regime to all ages are:

    The Left Unity Party

    Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC)
    – fielding 100 candidates this election
    – have won in council elections and running with
    – plus 1000 TUSC candidates in amongst the
    – elections in England in over 6,000 council seats in 279 local authorities

    Socialist party of Great Britain (Socialist GB)

    – Although Brighton central has One The Greens MP, Ms Caroline Lucas

    – Brighton Kempton voting area has Socialoist GB candidate for MP

    Class War
    (double dole and pension)
    skull and crossbones logo
    Running throughout UK but mostly in London

    See how gaining an MP of each of these parties
    would actually change Labour in government,
    at:

    http://www.anastasia-england.me.uk

  5. Reblogged this on Young People Insight and commented:
    Being young and constantly losing support from the government can be difficult, especially when so much seems to be working against us.

    This is why it is important for us to be the change and vote in the upcoming elections, as together we can make a difference.

  6. What a geat piece. Thank you for writing this. Now we just need to find a way to get the young to vote and then Cameron will no longer be able to inflict his punishment on the poor.

  7. Reblogged this on amnesiaclinic and commented:
    Very well said, EmsyBlog!
    “This government has taken every ounce of support from young people with one hand, and used the other hand to point the finger at them and say “This is YOUR fault”. They have said “you’re not worth paying for work, you’re not worth helping because we have given up on you”. They have criminalised being young and poor”.


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