We must treat young unemployed people with more compassion, says Heworth candidate Jess Dixon

JessDixon1The high unemploment in the UK is caused by an excess supply of labour, and a shortage of jobs. The way to solve this problem is to invest money in industry, creating more jobs and increasing national employment, which would in turn reduce the cost of benefits.

The government, however, chooses to blame the unemployed themselves for the high unemployment levels. They tell us people aren’t trying hard enough to find jobs, which is nonsense. Whilst some individuals could perhaps be accused of not trying, for every one of these people there is at least one other person who is trying hard, and still failing, to get a job. The shortfall is in jobs, not people.

This is basic economics, so we can infer that either: A) The Conservatives know very little about economics, or B) They are feeding us propaganda in the hope that the blame is passed to the very people who are suffering at the hands of this government.

They have decided in particular to target young people to try and “help them make something of their lives”. Their new policy will dictate that 18-21 year olds must work for their job seekers benefits (youth Job Seekers benefits currently amounts to £57.35 per week). Young people will be expected to do 30 hours of community work per week, on top of the time they spend trying to find a job to claim this money.

The Conservative government have spent the last five years implementing austerity measures, and cutting jobs within the public sector. They seem to be trying to balance this employment gap by offering 18-21 year olds work with little to no prospect for the future at under £2 per hour. It reeks of exploitation; they have taken away jobs people can live off, and in place are providing work no-one could ever hope to live off.

This comes on the back of a report of a second policy, in which 18-21 year olds would no longer be able to claim housing benefits. If implemented, these policies can only lead to poverty and suffering (food banks at the ready). In turn, there is a real danger that the desperation these policies would cause could lead to public disorder and rioting on the streets.

We must treat our young people (and, in fact, everyone) better and with more compassion than we are currently do. To tackle unemployment we must invest more money in public services, industry and science, all around the country. This would boost the economy while providing proper jobs, with good prospects, and a living wage.

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