09/08/2015 15:17 BST | Updated 09/08/2016 06:59 BST

What Is the Government Doing for Young People Not Born With a Silver Spoon in Their Mouths?


To mark 100 days of the first Conservative government in nearly 20 years, HuffPost UK is running 100 Days of Dave, a special series of blog posts from grassroots campaigners to government ministers, single parents to first-year students, reflecting on what's worked and what hasn't, whilst looking for solutions to the problems we still face.

"If you're young, want to work hard and want to get on, the Conservative Party is the party for you".

These were the words spoken by David Cameron prior to winning the general election in May. However, this statement could not be any further from the truth, for young people under the Tory government. The past '100 days of Blue' speaks for itself when it comes to the Conservative agenda for young people, who are willing to work hard and are seeking to better themselves.

The recent Budget by George Osborne is definitely not "good for us", despite what Osborne may claim. Can somebody please tell me what is good about the scrapping of educational maintenance grants for those from low-income families? The scrapping of housing benefit for young people under 21 and the increase of tuition fees?

To add insult to injury, young people under 25 who are working hard (many slaving away) will not be able to receive the national living wage of £7.20 from next year. You don't need to be an economist to see that the budget has done us or our families no favours. The Institute for Fiscal Studies have already claimed that the budget will leave 13million families worse off.

However I cannot be too ungrateful because the government, at the same time they have done all the above, have promised us (young people) three million new apprenticeships, higher personal tax-allowance and help to buy ISAs - so that makes everything okay, right?

There are still so many unresolved issues affecting young people that our government are yet to tackle. For example, we have almost 83,000 young people homeless in Britain, the fact that although youth unemployment has fallen by two per cent among young white people, it has risen by 49% over the last five years among BME young people. Or the fact that mental health services for children and young people in England were cut by £35million last year, despite a government commitment to transform mental health care.

A big thing for me, which the government have been reluctant to address, is social mobility; and this is affecting many young people not born with a silver spoon in their mouths. I know this phrase "social mobility" is over-used and on the lips of many politicians, which is good. But most of them are doing nothing about increasing social mobility and are just giving us all lip service. We all know that life isn't fair and equality of outcome for everybody is unachievable, but as far as I am concerned we should all have equality of opportunity. We should not be trapped within the circumstances that we are born in. No-one has a choice about the family they are born in and I am strong believer that we should have a level playing field. Your background, ethnicity, race, gender or religion should not affect your life chances as a child or young person.

This problem of social mobility runs deeper in our country than people may realise. A study published last month, by the London School of Economics for the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission, has identified that "Less able, better-off kids are 35% more likely to become high earners than bright poor kids." We are living in a country where you do not fly as far as your talent. What type of schooling you had, who you know, and how wealthy your parents are major determinants of your success. Just 7% of people in our country are privately educated but yet 71% of senior judges, 62% of senior armed forces officers, 50% of Team GB gold medallist and 50% of members of the House of Lords are... you'll never guess... privately educated. How does that make any sense? So, how will our Prime Minster's cabinet - half of whom are privately educated  and half  of whom went to Oxbridge - solve this issue of social mobility?

We should be creating and developing a country where young people are growing up in a more meritocratic society, not one of nepotism. We should not be accepting the fact that some of brightest talent in our society will never get the best jobs or run FTSE 100 companies just because they were not born into a wealthy family or because they are not "posh" enough. They should be afforded opportunities too and not be allowed to fall through the cracks.

So, "If you want to work hard and want to get on" in life, I am not too sure how Cameron is going to make that any easier for you than he did when he was first elected in 2010. The past '100 days of Blue' have showed me that, yet again, 'nothing much' has changed for young people and as many of our life prospects fall further, inequality will inevitably rise in our generation.

How do you think Britain has changed since 7 May? Join the @HuffPostUK conversation on Twitter with #100DaysOfDave