Since 2010 the Conservatives have been waging a war on young people. But now Theresa May has given you the chance to fight back!

Young Professionals

A recent report by the Intergenerational Fairness Index found there had been a drop of 10% in prospects for young people in a range of areas [1]. As we will demonstrate below, that is due to the policies of the Conservative party. This can be contrasted to the fortunes of their grandparents. The triple lock pension has resulted in a significant hike in income, pensioner property wealth now totals £861 billion and the ONS says that retirees saw their incomes increase by 5.1 per cent between 2007/08 and 2011/12. This trend has continued.

Here are just 4 areas where Conservative policy has affected 18-25 year olds:

Housing

For many years, the prospect of young people stepping onto the property ladder have been diminishing and for many leaving the family home is simply a dream. In Chelmsford the average rent for a flat is now £905, whilst a single room in a shared house averages £495 (home.co.uk). House price rises show no sign of slowing down, with the average now £373,980 (Zoopla). The pace of house building has been inadequate and we have pledged to build 300,000 affordable home per year to address this. This has also been exacerbated by the right to buy scheme and the Government forcing councils to sell off their most valuable social housing [2]. Against this backdrop, the Conservative policy to scrap housing benefit for 18-21 year olds and reduce it for 21-25 year olds is inexcusable, especially when taken in conjunction with the benefit cap [3]. They have also reduced benefits for those in work, but on low salaries [4].

For the Liberal Democrat policy on housing see - http://www.libdems.org.uk/housing

Education

In 2009/10, education and training expenditure was 5.8% of GDP. By 2016 real-term cuts have reduced this to 4.5%, despite the Liberal Democrat coalition achievements of the pupil premium and free primary school meals. University grants for the poorest students have finally been scrapped, saving £1.6 billion, but sacrificing the prospects of those who benefitted from them [5]. University tuition fees have increased again, whilst the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills have stated that due to budget constraints, repayment rates may need to be ramped up [6].

For the Liberal Democrat policy on education see - http://www.libdems.org.uk/education

Employment

In 2015, Tory minister Matthew Hancock admitted that the national living wage would not apply to under-25s, because they are not "productive" enough to warrant a living wage [7]. And for several years, the rhetoric has been that increasing the living wage would be harmful to their job opportunities. But despite being overlooked, unemployment amongst 18-25 year olds remains more than double that of the rest of the workforce. How do the Government react? They reduce job seekers allowance for these younger age groups (already lower than over 25 year olds). Extra pressure is again felt through the benefit cap and vindictive benefit sanctions. Fortunately, David Cameron's plans to make young people do unpaid work for their benefits have been shelved, hopefully never to return [8].

For the Liberal Democrat policy on tax and benefits see - http://www.libdems.org.uk/tax

Finally - Brexit

After David Cameron's referendum gamble spectacularly failed, the narrative was that 18-25 year olds could not complain as turnout was only around 35%. This was soon proven to be false and turnout was in fact shown to be double that. Young people had turned out in record numbers. However, despite being hugely in favour of remaining in the EU, a 90% turnout amongst those 65 and over meant we would be leaving the EU [9]. Because David Cameron gambled the country's future, to silence the eurosceptics in his party, the next generation face an uncertain economic future whilst potentially losing the right to travel freely, live and work in 27 other countries.

For the Liberal Democrat policy on Europe see - http://www.libdems.org.uk/europe

All of which brings us to our next point…….

What can you do?

Check Out Our Policies

It's one thing complaining about the opposition, but what would we actually do to change this.

Read about Liberal Democrat policy here - http://www.libdems.org.uk/issues

Read about our vision for Chelmsford here - https://chelmsford-libdems.org.uk/en/page/our-vision-for-chelmsford

If You Like What You See - Vote

The reason the Conservative Government feel safe to fund the older generation at the expense of the young, is because they believe young people do not vote. But Theresa May has provided you with the chance to fight back against this treatment. Vote Liberal Democrat in the upcoming elections and send a message that current policy, victimising 18-25 year olds, is unacceptable. Only you can force a change.

And If You Really Like It - Join

Since 2015, Liberal Democrat membership has more than doubled from 40,000 to over 100,000 with more joining every day. You can join at https://libdems.secure.force.com/LiberalDemocrats/NewMemberRegistration from as little as £12/year (£1 for students).

And If You Can't Join - Volunteer

The Liberal Democrats do not have the funding of rich donors or the unions. But where we excel is the number of activists available to us. To run an effective general election campaign we estimate we need 450 volunteers. Currently we have about 250 regular volunteers. There are many ways you can help us. Find out more here https://chelmsford-libdems.org.uk/en/volunteer.

Let us know you are voting Liberal Democrat in the upcoming elections by registering for email updates here.