Rohan Cook on Brexit and Breakdowns – a young person’s perspective

labour conf

Many times now, the government has spoken of equality, improvement and empowerment for our Northern Region.

From Osborne and his ridiculous, embarrassing and belittling Northern Powerhouse to the Maybot and her current stem of plans and ideas, with as much credibility as a football team’s tactics that have been drawn up by a medic.

Only in recent months, Theresa and her cabinet were in Newcastle announcing £337m of funding for our local transport infrastructure and, plans for a Northern Powerhouse railway line that would unite all of the North – well, the North between Liverpool and Leeds.

£337m may sound generous, but in my area, in, the North East, only £208 per head per year is spent on transport and infrastructure compared to £743 in London.  In fact in the last decade we have been deprived of £63bn in equivalent funding.

Our Metro system, the inter-regional light  rail network, is already old and outdated, with much of the track and carriage stock being up to 40 years old.  With this we suffer frequent delays and wholesale service shutdowns.

Under new proposals, our Metro’s modernisation would come into effect in 2021.  However, reports have already stated that by then it will already be outdated by a number of years.  With this, the inadequacy of our precious service can only worsen.

So what does this mean for our region?

Students and young people are stranded at home unable to socialise, or make it to school or uni in time for their exams or lectures.  And every lost hour of education could mean the difference between a young person’s ability to attain the grades required for quality, secure employment, or the bleak prospect of a zero hours contract.

But critically, everyday, many workers are left unable to travel both near and far to work.  Workforce shortages lead to an avoidable loss of productivity and output.  This shortfall leads to holes in our regional economy, not enabling economic growth or prosperity.  This in turn affects the overall national economy, leaving gaps in our already devastated budgets.

The Tories don’t care.  They’ve given us £337m.  That’s surely more than we’re entitled to?

No.

With Brexit currently undergoing a parachuteless freefall to the darkest depths of the ocean, the uncertainty will only serve to further ruin our economy, costing more and more jobs, livelihoods and chances for people to lead a happy, prosperous life.

Enough is enough.

We need Keir Starmer negotiating a Brexit with our socialist, European, terms and principles.  We need a deal that puts first the economy, jobs and the people, for all in the UK and our overseas dependencies.

We need a Keir Starmer Brexit within a Jeremy Corbyn-led government to ensure that no matter what, we put our people first.

Without equality for all there can be no prosperity.

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