YOUNG VOICES

Budget 2016: Jeremy Corbyn Passionately Speaks Up For Young People

While the Tories were accused of 'laughing loudly'

16/03/2016 16:37 GMT | Updated 16/03/2016 16:55 GMT

Jeremy Corbyn was quick to defend the rights of young people in his response to George Osborne's 2016 Budget.

The Labour leader praised the "optimism, enthusiasm, the hope [and] the energy" of British youths, and chastised the government for burdening them with debt.

"The Chancellor might have said a great deal about young people," Corbyn told MPs. "He failed to say anything about the debt levels so many former students have, the high rents young people have to pay, the lower levels of wages that young people get, the sense of injustice and insecurity that so many young people in this country face and feel every day."

Corbyn added: "Let us harness the optimism, the enthusiasm, the hope, the energy of young people not burden them with debts and unaffordable housing, low wage jobs and zero-hours contracts, but instead act in an intergenerational way to give young people the opportunities and the chances they want to build a better, freer, more equal, more content Britain than this Chancellor of the Exchequer has proved he is utterly incapable of doing this this Budget today."

Liz Emerson, co-founder of the Intergenerational Foundation said the budget was "full of hot air".

"The Chancellor's rhetoric over the need to 'put the next generation first' offers little to the 'lost' generation of millennials suffering from high housing costs, poor job prospects, low incomes and high student debt."

Megan Dunn, president of the National Union of Students, called the policies "regressive".

"Dressed-up offers like the Lifetime ISA are too little too late – thousands of students and graduates are worrying about how they will afford to eat day-to-day rather than whether to save for a house or put money into a pension.

"While George Osborne’s promises might sound appealing, his words do not make up for his actions.

"The government has forced cut after cut onto students who are already struggling to get by. If the chancellor truly wants to help young people, he could start by reversing his own damaging decisions."