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Ed Miliband discusses “generational inequality” in major speech

by on June 19, 2014

Ed Miliband today made a major speech on the launch of the IPPR “Condition of Britain” report: “This landmark report argues for a new approach to politics and public action driven by the goals of spreading power, fostering contribution and strengthening shared institutions. Covering a wide range of policy issues, it makes proposals for reshaping the systems of support for families, young people, older people and those facing deep exclusion from society, while also setting out reforms to social security, employment support and housing policy”

The Guardian Blog is the place to go for the speech break down if you missed it – though they in turn were following the BBC live feed (which at time of writing seemed to have closed).

Here are a few age related highlights from my initial trawl through the coverage:

  • Young who do not go to university have been neglected
  • Labour will replace jobseeker’s allowance for 18 to 21-year-olds with a new youth allowance which will be assessed on the basis of parental income, “as we do for those young people who go to university”  (Well personal experience of that would suggest its places a huge financial burden on both parents and students) A question posted later asks: What will Labour do for young people who can’t rely on your parents? and apparently the answer was vague.
  • We can’t succeed as a country with unskilled young people going from benefits to low paid work and back again without proper skills”  I might have missed it but I haven’t seen the term apprentice in here.  The report outlines a youth guarantee for 18-21-year-olds, with access to education, training or help to find work, and compulsory work experience after six months.  In addition there is a commitment to half of young people aged 16 or 17 taking part in National Citizen Service by 2020
  • At the same time there is a lot of talk here of more for “those who have paid into the system” – which presumably means older workers who find themselves unemployed.
  • More specifically on the elderly: “An independent review to consider how the national insurance system could protect people from high care costs in old age” and “backing for older people who want to establish a ‘neighbourhood network’ in their local area to help tackle loneliness and isolation”
  • And from the #conditionofbritain on twitter it is just reported that Ed Miliband has been asked “are you sacrificing the under-21’s in order to appear strong” – I’ll try and track down the response if I can.  The twitter response is picking up on this as one tweeter posts “so angry… LEAVE YOUNG PEOPLE ALONE. They’ve had enough. , support them, don’t dump on them.They’re the future”  (@Bonn1eGreer is being retweeted a lot; 75 and counting I expect)
  • Another tweeter points out: “And don’t forget that people over 25 are looking for jobs too. Is unemployment spelt youthunemployment now?” (apologies to the tweeter – lost the details of there but see #conditionof Britain).  There is general concern on the twitter stream with implications for over-25s.

Obviously this has prompted much debate so I’ll keep an eye on the online activity and return to this tomorrow when we will be able to get more of a sense of the reaction from all quarters.

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