Politicians would be stupid to disregard young men and women, warns president of NUS

The balance of electrical power will be in the hands of student voters in the subsequent common election, says Toni Pearce, president of the Nationwide Union of Students (NUS).

Speaking to the Guardian, Pearce says: “This is the 12 months young people are going to make a variation and present politicians that they would be stupid to ignore them.”

She dismisses the stereotype of apathetic youth: “It’s an straightforward get-out to say youthful individuals are apathetic, due to the fact it means you do not have to do anything for them. But college students are as essential and powerful as any other demographic. You cannot shut youthful men and women out of politics.”

In fact, pupil engagement in politics is at a new large. Recent study from the NUS shows that virtually 3 quarters of students would vote if there had been a common election tomorrow – a figure that has risen by a third because February.

The blend of getting “lied to” by politicians at the last general election, along with the results of austerity, has galvanised students, says Pearce.

And the involvement of young people in the Scottish referendum last summer season – a record 3.6 million men and women voted and much more than 100,000 sixteen- to 17-yr-olds registered to vote – has also had an effect.

“Students are really politicised. They are annoyed that they were lied to at the final common election, and that’s motivated them to get involved. They want their voices to be heard, since they are fed up of currently being set to one side.”

The NUS says college students could swing 197 seats at the basic election. It has calculated that total-time college students within people constituencies signify a greater proportion of the electorate than the swing necessary to modify the 2010 end result.

Politicians need to have to wake up and pay attention to what younger people want, warned Pearce. “The balance of power is in the hands of pupil constituents. Politicians in Westminster need to have to realise that students have the power to get rid of them from their seats.”

Pearce also warned that politicians who broke the pledge not to increase tuition fees at the last election would be held to account and that “Nick Clegg is poison at the ballot box when it comes to students”.

The remarks come as NUS releases its manifesto, outlining what the 600-robust physique of student unions will be demanding from politicians in 2015.

The manifesto, named the “new deal for the subsequent generation”, lists thirty demands, under the classes of schooling, function and community.

Demands include:

  • The phasing out of tuition charges.
  • A new and far better schooling upkeep allowance (EMA).
  • Safety for the disabled college students allowance.
  • The raising of the apprentice minimal wage.
  • The introduction of a residing wage.
  • The decreasing of the voting age to sixteen.
  • Greater intercourse and relationships schooling in schools.
  • The scrapping of letting agent fees.

Pearce says: “We have been advised that if you go to college, university or university and operate tough, then you will get a respectable occupation that permits you to assistance your family members. That promise was created to my generation and it is been abandoned.

“My generation stands to be the initial in background to be worse off than our parents. That’s anything that we must all be concerned about.”

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