By Ameet Jogia
Young people were back at the centre of Conservative Party policy this week, following the Prime Minister’s commitment to give a fairer deal to students.
The last general election showed the largest swing of young voters opting for Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party over Theresa May’s Conservatives. The election was a wake-up call for the Conservative Party and I am proud that the Party has recognised these concerns and acted upon them. As a candidate myself in Brent North, I had met hundreds of young people along the way who worried about how life would be harder for them, than it was for their parents’ generation. This was a sentiment echoed across the country.
For years Tories have campaigned against the perils of socialism. Thirty years ago, the Conservatives would have had no problem in countering what Jeremy Corbyn stands for. But the last general election showed that we are going to have to find a new way of appealing to a generation born after the fall of Soviet communism, particularly the millennials who have no memory of how socialism brought our country to its knees back in the 1970s.
But this Party Conference was reassuring in showing that only the Conservatives have the capacity to deliver for young people, especially when it comes to student tuition fees. What was evident was that only the Conservative Party has the most to offer young people to get on in life. No false promises, but genuine solutions.
The Prime Minister has already committed to give a fairer deal for students and young people, by scrapping the planned rise in tuition fees then freeze them. The threshold at which recent graduates start to pay back their student loans has also been raised to £25,000, giving young people more money in their pocket.
Labour can’t deliver on their promises and it is sad how they misled thousands of students and young people who voted for them. Just weeks after the election, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor said the claim to scrap tuition fees “wasn’t a promise.”
Young people are taking on a hideous amount of debt, and many don’t even know what they are getting from it. There are many misconceptions in the system, and regrettably many young people are not getting what they initially signed up for.
But we should also be proud that our higher education system still remains world class, with the UK being home to some of the world’s best universities. The Tories have helped to get more young people into university than ever before – including those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
It’s also important that graduates continue to contribute towards the cost of higher education. However, Labour’s plans go too far, resulting in taxpayers footing the whole bill. However, changes need to be made and I am pleased the Government will be reviewing the higher education system, particularly student finance and funding, to ensure that we have a system that works for everyone.
Young people are the future; both for our Party and country. This week’s Conservative Party Conference showed that young people can no longer be ignored, but also that only the Conservative Party have the solutions to truly deliver for them.
Ameet Jogia was the Conservative Parliamentary Candidate in Brent North in the June 2017 General Election and is currently a Councillor in Harrow. Ameet spoke at Conservative Party Conference this week on Conservative Party values.