Selling out the young

I have long been concerned about the dangers of the high levels of youth unemployment, which stands at about 20 per cent overall in the UK and is much higher among minorities, especially in inner-city areas.

It is quite clear that the coalition decided very early on to protect the old at the expense of the young, presumably because this was politically expedient. It cut spending on youth workers and youth centres, abolished the Future Jobs Fund and Education Maintenance Allowance for children from disadvantaged families and slashed funding for charities at a time when demand was rising. An explosion in the inner cities was almost inevitable. What the heck did they expect?

David Blanchflower is economics editor of the New Statesman and professor of economics at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire

This article first appeared in the 15 August 2011 issue of the New Statesman, The coming anarchy