Labour launches Youth Manifesto with new £1 billion pledge for youth services
The Labour Party is tomorrow (Saturday) publishing “The Future is Ours” – a manifesto for young people which will include an additional £1 billion of investment in youth services and the party’s commitment to votes at 16. Jeremy Corbyn will announce the party’s plans at a rally of young people in Loughborough where he will urge young people to register to vote ahead of the deadline on 26th November.
The Tories, and their previous coalition partners, the Lib Dems, have made life harder for young people. With surging housing prices, stagnating wages, rising student debt, escalating knife crime and a mental health crisis – these are just some of the challenging facing young people after a decade of austerity. The climate emergency has also created great uncertainty for young people, but the Conservatives have failed to take meaningful action to address the crisis.
In Labour’s Youth Manifesto the party has pledged to tackle intergenerational inequality and deliver real change for young people. The manifesto outlines radical steps to ensure that every young person has the support they need to fulfil their potential and feel secure in their future.
Labour has announced an additional £1 billion in annual revenue expenditure for youth services, twenty times the £50 million previously announced by the government. This will build a properly funded, professionally staffed National Youth Service, and will guarantee every young person has access to local, high-quality youth work.
Labour will double the annual capital expenditure for youth services that the government has committed to, investing an additional £250 million to build up to 500 new youth centres.
The party’s offer for young people includes:
- Votes at 16 and automatic voter registration
- An end to tuition fees and bringing back maintenance grant
- Free bus travel for under 25s
- Climate apprenticeship programme for school leavers
- Banning unpaid internships
- A Real Living Wage of £10 per hour for everyone over the age of 16
- Reforming Help to Buy to focus it on first-time buyers on ordinary incomes
- Doubling the annual spending on children and adolescent mental health services
- 3,500 qualified counsellors to guarantee every child access to school counsellors
- Investing in the youth justice system
Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Labour Party, launching Labour’s youth manifesto at a rally of young people in Loughborough, will say:
“By shutting down hundreds of youth centres, the Tories showed they don’t care about young people.
“Across the country, young people are taking to the streets and leading the climate strikes, they’re campaigning on issues they care about, and using social media to make their voices heard.
“Labour will invest in our young people so that everyone has somewhere to go, something to do and someone to speak to.
“This is the most important election for a generation. To achieve real change, I’m calling on people to take just 5 minutes to get registered so they can make sure that their voice is heard.”
Cat Smith, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Youth Affairs, will say:
“We often say that young people are the leaders of tomorrow, but recent events have shown they are the leaders of today.
“The next Labour government will take radical steps, from building a National Youth Service to tackling the climate crisis, to ensure that every young person has the support they need to fulfil their potential and feel secure in their future.
“This election is a once-in-a-generation chance to rebuild and transform our country. The future is ours to make. It’s time for real change so that no one is held back, and no community is left behind.”