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Youth leaders call for a Corbyn government to tackle debt crisis

One in five young people 'always' in debt, survey finds as labour movement activists say low-pay economy is to blame

ONLY a Jeremy Corbyn-led Labour government will end soaring debt among young people and a yawning pay gap with their elders, labour movement youth leaders warned today.

Damning statistics show a generation is living in fear of permanent, unmanageable debt.

A study by the Young Women’s Trust found one in five of 4,000 people surveyed always owed money, while 36 per cent could not see themselves getting out of debt any time soon.

One in three young people felt they would still be living in debt at the age of 40, the survey found. A quarter said their financial situations had worsened in the last 12 months.

Young women are also far more likely to be in a difficult financial situation than men, with 40 per cent of young women saying that they struggle to make money last until the end of the month.

The findings follow research by the TUC showing the pay gap between under-30s and over-30s in the east of England has grown to 21.6 per cent, more than doubling in the last 20 years.

TUC regional secretary Sam Gurney said: “Too many [young people] are stuck in low-paid, insecure jobs, with little opportunity to get on in life.”

Labour national executive committee youth representative Lara McNeill said the “grim reality” was that the young are living in fear of debt collectors and bailiffs.

“More often than not, their only crime is to try to live in a society where wages stagnate and prices shoot through the roof,” she told the Morning Star.

“For most young people, there is too much month at the end of their money.”

She called for the full rate of the minimum wage to apply to all workers regardless of age, as there are currently lower minimums for those under 25, and for the introduction of a real living wage of £10 an hour, as promised in Labour’s manifesto last year.

Unite young members committee chair Damian Bailey said young workers were “seeing the ladder pulled up from them.

“This is why Unite’s young members have been fighting hard in workplaces up and down the country to ensure that young people get the wages they deserve — and are united in securing a government that works in the interests of working-class people.”

RMT young members’ network vice-chair Rhys Harmer argued: “The sooner we get a Corbyn government into 10 Downing Street, the better.

“The only way to stop the agenda of the boss class is all-out political and industrial struggle to deliver real wages and real lives for ordinary people.”

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