Published on October 3rd, 2014 |
by Carmela Rodriquez
Image © David Cameron
A take on the Conservative Party Conference 2014
‘Family, family, family’ and a swipe at Ed Miliband for forgetting to mention the deficit at last weeks Labour Party Conference – David Cameron’s speech on Wednesday was predictable. Speaking at the Tory Party conference in Birmingham, Cameron outlined his five-year plan. The plan focused on family, tax-cuts, education and the NHS. But what are the Conservatives offering young people?
The jewel in the thorny-crown is their extension of help-to-buy scheme. The new scheme, to be called ‘Starter Homes’ plans to build 100,000 new homes that will be 20% cheaper than the normal price of similar builds. These homes will be ring-fenced for young people, under the age of 40. Accordingly, ‘Buy-to-Let’ landlords and foreign buyers won’t be able to benefit from the scheme.
Speaking on behalf of many young people who are living on the breadline, in London, the concept of saving even a portion of a house deposit is a completely intangible, despite the chance of a 20% discount. According to a recent survey by global estate agents Savills, as reported by Time Out, London is now officially the most expensive city in the world to live in. Prices have risen out of reach – discount or no discount on new-build housing. We are increasingly beginning to accept many of us will be part of ‘Generation Rent’, and probably not own our own homes in the foreseeable future.
Other than the 100,000 homes at a discounted rate, policies that would affect young people were promises to deliver full youth employment, spending cuts and no income tax until you earn over £12,500 a year.
Cameron’s proposed tax cuts have already been criticised – with questions surrounding how they will be afforded. And, tax cuts won’t help poor people who are in need of an increase in benefits – the opposite is proposed with significant benefit freezes – that’s where the books will be partly balanced – at the door of the most vulnerable.
In terms of employment and up-skilling, Cameron promised 3 million apprenticeships, similar to the Labour’s proposed apprenticeship scheme. The speech also spoke about the plan to abolish youth unemployment – something of a perennial mantra close to general elections. But there was something to look forward to – Cameron’s intention to abolish the zero-hour contract – although the zero-hour contract should be illegal by now anyway.
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