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Recession hits young the most says Osborne

PUBLISHED: 16:23 29 April 2009 | UPDATED: 15:48 16 August 2010

ATTENTIVE: George Osborne met students and business representatives while on his visit.

ATTENTIVE: George Osborne met students and business representatives while on his visit.

THE Shadow Chancellor told a group of students that young people are the worst affected by the credit crisis while on a visit to their college. George Osborne made the comments at Bromley College of Further and Higher Education on Tuesday on the first d

THE Shadow Chancellor told a group of students that young people are the worst affected by the credit crisis while on a visit to their college.

George Osborne made the comments at Bromley College of Further and Higher Education on Tuesday on the first day of the Conservative's European election campaign.

He advised those graduating this year to carry on studying by applying for a Masters degree or an apprenticeship instead of signing up for Job Seeker's Allowance.

Mr Osborne said: "We have the fastest rising unemployment in British history. People working in the financial sector and young people are the most affected.

"The cost when someone becomes unemployed is substantial. Firstly you lose their tax then you have to pay housing benefit and council tax benefit. Keeping people in work is definitely a good investment.

"This is as huge as anything we have known in our life time. We need targeted help for young people such as apprenticeships and encouraging them to do Masters degrees."

But business studies student Richa Solanki, 21, said: "I don't think that's a good idea because all your debts will just keep building up."

Mr Osborne asked the students which jobs they would like to do when they graduate and there was laughter when one said he had intended to pursue a career in investment banking.

Local business managers also attended the visit and told the Shadow Chancellor how the recession is affecting their trade.

They said they felt £4 billion announced by the Government for helping small businesses was "remote" and "impossible to get your hands on".

Mr Osborne said: "The first thing is the credit problem. Small businesses can't get overdraft facilities and they are going bust as a result."

He denied the Conservatives would be cutting back on defence projects to save money but did confirm that he would scrap ID cards and vowed to make efficiency savings within the public sector where he claimed there was a lot of "wastage".

Speaking about the 50 per cent "super tax" for high earners announced in Alistair Darling's budget last Wednesday, Mr Osborne said: "I can't promise that we would scrap it, but it's not a good idea. Our priority is dealing with the national insurance for people earning over £20,000, not £150,000."

Principal Peter Jones said: "It was a great opportunity for students and businesses to meet George Osborne and it was an interesting visit.

"Our students are aware of the recession and what it means for them. Many of them are working part time to support themselves so they can see what is going on in the world of work."

katherine.nelson@archant.co.uk

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