Posted by Matt | Posted in Green Party, Politics | Posted on 27-02-2015
Younger people are more disillusioned with politics in this country than any other age group and as a result they are the least likely to vote. As people get older the more likely they are to vote. All political parties know this and consequently most of them tailor their policies towards those most likely to vote.
The result is that the group that has been worst affected by the economic crisis and the planned austerity are young adults. Hence, they become even more disillusioned with politics in this country.
Some examples of this are:
- University tuition fees raised to £9,000 per year, despite the Liberal Democrats’ pledge not to do this. Now students graduate with debts of around £40,000 that limit their chances of getting a mortgage and is a constant source of concern.
- Educational Maintenance Allowance (EMA), which helped poorer students, was scrapped.
- Cuts to advice and support services, such as youth clubs and Connexions.
- Cuts to mental health services for young people.
- Proposed cuts to Disabled Students Allowance (DSA), which students in England can receive to meet the extra study costs arising from their disabilities.
- Further Education (FE) cuts.
- The average income of young people in work has fallen far more than older workers.
- Unemployment is higher for young people.
If you thought that young people had been punished enough for the economic collapse that they certainly had no responsibility for, then you’d be mistaken. David Cameron’s recent announcement that 18-21 year olds would be forced to undertake community work if they tried to sign-on is another attack on the young. Then a few days later he announced that all pensioners’ benefits would be protected. You could not have a clearer example of how those that don’t vote get ignored and taken advantage of. If the young voted as much as the over 65’s, then you’d be sure that they would not be treated so badly.
The solution for young people is therefore fairly obvious; they need to vote. To some extent it doesn’t matter who they vote for. In fact, they can spoil their ballot paper if they want to. Once the political parties know that there are enough young voters to swing a seat, then they will start to introduce policies that actually appeal to this demographic.
The fact that the Green Party has many policies that do appeal to this age group may explain why many young people support them. However, the Green Party need these supporters to actually vote, and to be able to vote they must be registered. With the change to voter registration a huge number of young people have fallen off the electoral roll and it is imperative that they get back on in order to have a voice. Go to https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote to register online (all you need is your National Insurance number).