Britain’s Youth Marginalised

George Osborne’s announcement to create a National Living Wage that would benefit working people has come as welcome relief to some, but not those under 25, who set to gain nothing from the policy.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) have concluded in a report that Britain’s youth face the worst economic situation that the demographic has faced in generations, and that their prospects and situation has considerably declined since the Conservatives gained power.

The news comes as a blow to the youth of today who are already struggling to gain any semblance of financial independence, with a foot on the property ladder unthinkable for most people under 34, an age group deemed ‘young’ by the EHRC.

Whilst the commission acknowledged that various areas of society had benefitted from anti-discriminatory and economic policies, it was found that those under 34 have been affected by harsh cuts in pay, had less jobs to fill, and had less housing to occupy. As a result, poverty had increased considerably for those within the age range.

According to The Guardian, the unemployment rate for 16- to 24-year-olds was measured at 14.8% for the three months to August, according to official figures, with around 683,000 classed as unemployed.

The EHRC commissioner, Laura Carstensen said that the burden of cuts and austerity was felt mostly by youth. Despite the future prospects of the country being dependent on the experience and skills of the younger generation, Ms Carstensen painted a bleak picture of their current prospects.

“Theirs are the shoulders on which the country will rely to provide for a rapidly ageing population, yet they have the worst economic prospects for several generations,” she said.

The Trade Union Council general secretary, Frances O’ Grady echoed the sympathies of Ms. Carstensen, saying that: “This report should be wake-up call to ministers. Hiking up university and college fees and excluding young people from the new higher minimum wage rate is not the way to build a fair and prosperous Britain. It is the blueprint for a lost generation.

“Without better employment and training opportunities many young people will continue to be shut of the recovery.”

The chair of the new Commons women and equalities select committee, Maria Miller, said that the report was an indictment against Britain being a fair country.

“The role of the new select committee is to scrutinise how effective the government really is on delivering its equality promises,” she said. “Many of the challenges highlighted in this report will form the subject of our inquiries,” she said.


Written By:

Daniel James


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