The Government is to face accusations of “betraying” an entire generation of young people through its “swingeing cuts” to education, jobs and the public services.
The charge will be made by union leaders at a rally in Manchester called to protest against the Government’s cuts in public spending.
Sally Hunt, general secretary of the University and College Union, will accuse ministers of prioritising billions of pounds in tax breaks for business as they triple the cost of university and axe funding for college students and help for the unemployed.
She will say: “From sacking lollipop ladies and closing youth clubs to axing college grants and trebling tuition fees, this is a Government at war with our young people and therefore at war with our future. It is betraying an entire generation.”
TUC assistant general secretary Kay Carberry will tell the rally that young people should not pay the price for the Government’s “reckless gamble” with the economy.
Ms Carberry will say: “In the City, bankers are popping champagne corks and celebrating their bonuses. It’s business as usual for them, while young people up and down Britain are being forced to pick up the tab for a financial crisis and recession that they didn’t cause.
“Nearly one million young people are unemployed, with one in five young people now out of work. Educational maintenance allowances have been abolished, tuition fees raised, and successful back-to-work job schemes for young people abolished and replaced with inferior schemes. This adds up to lost opportunities and the risk of a lost generation.”
Employment Minister Chris Grayling said: “The trade unions need to understand that the youth unemployment challenge this Government faces is a direct consequence of the failings of the last Labour government. We have inherited a legacy of 600,000 young people who have never worked since leaving school or college. Labour failed on the economy, and its efforts and schemes to tackle youth unemployment failed too.
“We think young people deserve better – that’s why we’re investing in apprenticeships to create long-term jobs and are developing work experience opportunities so that young people get the skills and experience they need to successfully compete in the labour market.”
A march and rally will also be held in London against spending cuts and higher tuition fees.