Work until you drop – a message for today’s young workers

retirement ageYesterday, George Osborne announced in his autumn statement that, amongst more austerity measures to be made within government departments on Whitehall, plans to increase the retirement age for Young Workers has been brought forward. So it seems that most of us will now have to work until we drop.

It’s just another depressing example of how a generation of young people are being made to feel the pain of an economic collapse they didn’t cause. A treasury spokesman stated recently after the announcement that the plan ensures “a responsible recovery for all”. I’m sure this comes as solace to the hundreds and thousands of young unemployed, unable to What nextfind work and live – let alone pay their contributions to their state pension in the first place. Only a couple of months ago, the Princes Trust (a charity to help young people) warned that Britain faced a “youth jobs crisis” if nothing is done to tackle long term youth unemployment. So it seems the answer was to make us work longer. Backward thinking from the nasty party.

Yesterday’s announcement will only go to exacerbate the separation between average working people and the privileged elite and go one step closer to creating a two tier society, of affluence and poverty, where the rich can retire and the poor are forced into servitude – condemned to have to work all their life. Back to the Victorian era for Britain it seems.

On a radio interview, Nick Clegg yesterday had the audacity to suggest that people are becoming more “affluent and live longer”. Where this may be the case for his upper class buddies, it certainly is not the case the majority of young people currently struggling and sincerely doubt that this is going to change in the next few decades, thanks to the malignant policies being set in place by this government and backed up by a report from the National Office of Statistics, that projects that in certain parts of the country the expected lifespan of future generations is to be less than their parents, long before they reach retirement age. It’s the great British (workers) con.

But don’t worry though, Mr Osborne is expected to stress that his legislation changed won’t affect anybody 40 and above. And you have to wonder, why is that? Is it because they’re a more likely age bracket to reflect their disapproval to the policy in an election ballot? It’s certainly a tangible argument.

To introduce this policy at a time like this is damaging and only adds to a bleak future for young people. But I wonder how many people will shrug it off because there’s “nothing they can do about it”. As a subset of society, we don’t make politicians scared of introducing changes that hurt our futures, because as a mass we don’t vote. We don’t make our voice known and we don’t stand up to them.

CWU Youth project in conjunction with Lodestone Communications

CWU Youth have teamed up with Lodestone Communications to try and understand better why people don’t vote. We need volunteers to participate in an informal discussion which will take place over a day in central London. All reasonable expenses will be met.

There’s no pre-set agenda, no lobbying on behalf of anyone, no pressure and certainly no-one judging what you say. The whole aim of the exercise is to have an open and honest discussion to try and get a better idea about what turns people off politics and makes them less inclined to go to the polls at election time.

If you – or a CWUYouth member you know – are interested in talking part – please email name and contact number to with the word “Non-voter” in the subject line.