Alan Whitehead

Labour MP for Southampton Test

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Young People in Southampton Getting a Raw Deal from Tories

As MP for Southampton Test I do my best to ensure that all of my constituents get a fair deal out of the decisions that are made in Westminster. Since David Cameron became Prime Minister in 2010 this has become a much tougher job, particularly when it comes to standing up for young people in Southampton.

The deal that this Tory government is offering young people in Southampton and across the UK is really not much of a deal at all. Last week it was announced that student Maintenance Grants would be scrapped completely, these grants are a lifeline to students from poorer backgrounds and this callous cut will affect over 10,000 students in Southampton. 

If that wasn't bad enough, FE colleges such as Richard Taunton's have seen their funding cut by 14% since the Tories took power in 2010. These colleges are offering not only A-Levels, but apprenticeships and also second chances to young people for whom an FE college might be the only path of education left available to them. 

Those not wanting to go off to University or further education are faced with trying to find a job that will pay the entirety of ever increasing rent as they are no longer eligible for housing benefits. And Osborne has already made it clear that these young people will also be ineligible for the increased 'living wage' when it is introduced. 

When I asked the Prime Minister what he had against young people in the UK, he accused me of doing this country down and claimed that his was the party of aspiration. But that simply isn't the case for thousands of young people in Southampton having to choose between a low paid, unstable job or ending up in more debt than their better off peers for their education. 


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