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Labour’s manifesto for young people

by on April 20, 2015

Just before our recent ‘blog break’ I posted some initial observations about age and the general election.  At the end of last week, the Labour Party followed up with their early promises to younger voters about tuition fees with a specific section within their manifesto aimed at ‘young people’.  As expected, this continues to build on the education focus but also includes promises of a guaranteed job for young people who have been out of work for a year – though there is no specification of what ‘young’ might mean in this instance.  Not addressed here but discussed elsewhere is the related pledge to end long term unpaid internships, which is also commonly perceived as particularly impacting younger people.

Presenting a manifesto in this way has the dual effect of both selling a particular message to younger voters but also to their parents, the presentation is very careful not to pitch the needs younger age group against, for example, older workers.  Other parties have however not missed out on this trick with the BBC reporting that the phrase ‘young people’ appears 20 times in the Conservative manifesto.

BBC’s news beat recently conducted a survey of 16-24 year olds to find out what issues were of most interest to young people and how these compared to the overall priorities of the general population.  When asked to rank issues, unsurprisingly education ranks more highly among young people, but the top rated priority was the NHS, the same as for the general population.

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