Shut Up, Kids: Tory says under 25s are too unproductive for living wage

Today in “Shit Tories Said at Conference”, spotlight on: Matthew Hancock, Conservative MP and Minister for the Cabinet Officer and Paymaster General (no, I don’t know or care what that means either).

Speaking at a fringe event at the party conference in Manchester, Hancock defended the policy which excludes under-25s from the new so-called living wage, saying: “Anybody who has employed people knows that younger people, especially in their first jobs, are not as productive, on average. Now there are some who are very productive under the age of 25 but you have to set policy for the average. It was an active choice not to cover the under 25s.”

It would be interesting to know where Hancock sourced this knowledge. Hancock, at the ripe old age of just 37, clearly never had to work two part-time jobs to fund his Oxford degree. Presumably none of the cabinet were ever short of a roof over their heads and in need of the housing benefits which have now been stripped from under-25s. I’m sure none worked zero-hour contracts whilst caring for dependents, or faced serious underemployment post-graduation. They were too busy being unproductive, fucking dead pigs for man-points in the training grounds for Neoliberal Patriarchy.

Indeed, this Tory clone is just a mouthpiece for Osborne and the austerity machine at large. It isn’t new information that the ruling party has no regard for the welfare of workers and young people. It’s just that usually the assault on our generation is dressed in the ugly costume of “necessary cuts”. Hancock’s words are provocative because they are an admittance of the deliberately ignorant ideas at the foundation of these policies.

To any of you who, like me, have recently seen all of their co-workers receive pay rises and been left at the bottom of the wage pile for the crime of being born in the 90s, your worth is not measured by your productivity. And your minimum wage work results in more people’s happiness than infinite terms of Tory government will.

[Ellen MacAskill]

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