Owen Jones: Are the Tories trying to make young people hate them?

The large majority of housing benefit claimants simply cannot afford extortionate rents

Owen Jones: 'If the Government was serious about taking down the housing benefit bill, it would build social housing, phase in rent caps and introduce a living wage'

It’s as though the Tories are trying to raise a generation to hate them. If you’re young and not cushioned by a trust fund, you are within your rights to feel a bit victimised by David Cameron’s government. The trebling of tuition fees with the support of the Liberal Democrats – a party that promised to abolish them – became emblematic of the political establishment’s betrayal of the young. To some of the poorest, the abolition of the Educational Maintenance Allowance was symbolic of a government of millionaires slamming the door in their faces.

The list of cuts is long: to local authorities, with youth services often first for the chop; the Aim-Higher scheme promoting access in universities; the Future Jobs Fund, even as youth unemployment soars. For some groups, the situation is bleaker: over half of young black men are now without work.

The proposed scrapping of housing benefit for under-25s is just the latest kick. Cameron attempts to tap into the resentment of the working poor at the unemployed on benefits, as with private sector workers against public sector workers over pensions. But the large majority of housing benefit claimants are actually in work: it is just that they cannot afford extortionate rents. If the Government was serious about taking down the housing benefit bill, it would build social housing, phase in rent caps and introduce a living wage.

The Independent

  • DAVID A SHAW June 25, 2012 at 10:00 am

    This government is on what they consider a class war, and their enemies are the ordinary man and woman in the street. They are actively punishing the young, the jobless, everyone whom they can in order to work out their childish Victorian value system on the nation. They are not only stupid and ignorant, they very soon will have the whole nation hating them. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot, Cameron must have had one too many bottles of the red stuff prior to thinking this one up.

  • kasbah June 25, 2012 at 11:22 am

    He most certainly has, as it is subsidised in the House of Commons bar! here is my 2012 version of the outstanding poem “First they came for the Jews” Apologies to the author as mine is not as literary.

    First they came for the disabled and I did not speak out because I was terrified of disability and so shunned them

    Then they came for the jobless and I did not speak out because I thought they were lazy

    Then they came for lone parents and I did not speak out because I blamed them

    Then they came for the homeless and I did not speak out because I despised them and
    didn’t want to feel their pain

    Then they came for the migrant workers and I did not speak out because I don’t like anyone who is not like me

    Then they came for the young and I did not speak out as I didn’t respect them

    Then, when there was no one else to attack, they invented new scapegoats.
    That’s when they came for me and there was no one who would speak out for me

  • Humanity2012 June 25, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    The Tories certainly Seem to be Following the National Socialist Regime in their
    Bigoted Persecution of the Sick and Disabled .

    All the Vile Destructiveness of the Con Dem’s Confirms my Gladness at Never having
    Voted ” Conservative ” despite the Pressure of the Politically Misguided and Out of
    Touch to do so

    A Positive Alternative to Tory Viciousness is the Formal Establishment of a Charity
    Welfare State with the Resources of the Land being Used to Help the Many Not the
    Few a Secretary of State for Charity and Poor Relief who would Not be a Party Line
    Politician but a Human Being the Overdue and Full Scale Redistribution of Wealth
    from Rich to Poor the Constitutional Right to a Place of Residence Regardless of
    Personal Wealth

    This is Not a Time for being Having One’s Head in the Sand More than an Ostrich

    Far too Many People took that Approach in 2010 wherever the Stupid Clowns who
    Voted ” Conservative ” or those who Took the I Am All Right Jack Approach between
    October to December 2010 when the Question of Educational Maintenance Allowance
    was High on the Political Agenda and when enough Public Pressure could of Resulted
    in EMA being Saved or Best of All the Con Dem Regime having to Leave Office by the
    Weight of Public Disgust Anger and Outrage

    Too Much Fiddling whilst Rome Burns Shame on those who Have Fiddled whilst
    Rome Burns

    We Need to be able to Take the Present and Future and Make them Better than
    they are under the Con Dem Dictatorship and the Lack of Opposition ” Official
    Opposition “

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