On Thursday June 8th people who have reached 18 years of age have the opportunity to vote for a Member of Parliament (MP) for Ipswich. In the last General Election in 2015 only 40% of young people aged 18 to 25 voted. That means that around 7,500 young people in Ipswich didn’t vote at all.
Labour candidate Sandy Martin is encouraging younger people to vote on Thursday
The Conservative Government knows that most young people do not vote, and that is why they feel able to treat them with utter contempt. This government has:
- Tripled Tuition fees
- Abolished Educational Maintenance Allowance
- Refused to raise the Minimum Wage for under-25s
- Failed to support Concessionary Bus Fares Schemes for young people
- Removed Housing Benefit for under 21s, at just the time when most people are unable to afford rents without some support
The present Conservative Government also has a dire record on undermining environmental programmes like renewable energy and recycling and clean air. The Tories are now talking about bringing back foxhunting, although we know that the vast majority of people are opposed to that. Theresa May’s “hard Brexit” plans are likely to rob you of decent jobs in the UK in the future, and make it more difficult to study or work in Europe. And to add insult to injury, the Tories are trying to get older people to blame their pensions cuts on younger people as if it were somehow your fault. Ben Gummer talks about “intergenerational theft” – but it’s the Tory Government which has stolen away your opportunities just as much as they have stolen pension rights from older people.
Lots of young people get involved in Change.Org or Avaaz, and some of them go on marches or attend events. But actually, the only way you can change the government is by voting.
You will only get one vote, and only the candidate with the most votes will get elected. If you vote for a candidate who has no chance of winning then your vote will not have any effect. But if you vote Labour, you will get a Labour MP who:
- Supports a £10 per hour minimum wage for all – including 18 to 25 year olds
- Supports building Council houses in Ipswich, so you will have a home of your own when you start a family – unlike the present Ipswich MP
- Supports abolishing tuition fees and reintroducing maintenance grants
- Supports concessionary bus fares and housing benefit for young people
- Has a proud record of fighting for the environment, and for the Single Market
If you don’t vote to remove the Conservatives they will continue to ignore your needs.
Voting is extremely easy and takes almost no time. All you have to do is to go into your local polling station on Thursday June 8th and put a cross on a bit of paper against the name of the candidate you are voting for. If you are at all unsure how to do it, why not look at labour.org.uk/pollingstation which will give you an easy guide.
If you vote for me, and I am elected, I can act as the champion for young people in Ipswich. If you don’t, I can’t. It’s as simple as that.