Young people! Here are 16 things you need to know now the Tories are in power

Britain has a majority Conservative government for the first time in decades. Next week, in the Queen's Speech, the government will lay out it's legislative programme for the coming year, but ministers have already been indicating which manifesto promises they are prioritising.

Here's how students and young people can expect to be affected by the new policies we expect to see.

1. Minimum wage

There won't be a rise in the minimum wage like some of the other parties had promised, meaning it'll stay at £6.50 for 21-year-olds, and £5.13 for 18-20 year olds, and only £3.79 for anyone under 18.

2. Living wage

There will also be no provisions for the living wage. The Conservative manifesto only had one mention of the living wage, and that was incredibly vague. The government has said it will encourage businesses to pay the living wage ‘if they can’. This means there probably won’t be any actual legislation put in place.

3. Tax

That said, some people earning the minimum wage are unlikely to pay tax on it; that's those earning under £12,500 a year. At present, the personal allowance is £10,600 a year, which means an extra £1,900 a year that's tax-free. That covers those earning minimum wage on a 30-hour week, but not those working full-time (40 hours).

4. Zero-hour contracts

Zero-hour contracts will continue to exist. The Conservatives have no plans to scrap controversial zero-hour contracts like Labour had promised to. This means you can still be employed with no guarantee of work, and receive no sick or holiday pay.

5. Tuition fees

Tuition fees won't decrease and the Tories haven't ruled out higher fees, potentially allowing some universities to charge up to £16,000 a year.

6. Higher education loans

It's not all bad for people in higher education, as the Tories have promised master's and PhD students the opportunity to take up to £10,000 of government loans which will be paid back at the same rate as undergrad loans, a much lower rate than banks.

7. Apprenticeships

David Cameron has pledged to create 3million new apprenticeships, which should help young people get key skills and training. He's also promised to increase the minimum wage for an apprentice to £3.30 an hour.

8. EU referendum

An exit from the EU could lead to EU students paying international fees instead of the £9,000 a year they currently pay. It could also significantly change the job market for both school-leavers and grads.

9. Snooper's Charter

The Draft Communications Bill (aka the Snooper’s Charter) is likely to be passed now after being consistently blocked by the Lib Dems. This means the police would have the power to look at everyone’s internet data. It also could ban encrypted data, which means some popular messaging services such as WhatsApp, Snapchat and iMessage could potentially be blocked.

10. Renting

The Conservatives don't have plans to limit the amount of money private landlords can charge renters, or do anything about letting agency fees. They have said that building more homes will increase supply of homes, and therefore decrease prices. This may be one of the biggest struggles effecting students and young people, as rents have already risen 13 per cent since the coalition came into power, causing a big issue with tenant security.

11. New homes

The Tories have pledged to build 200,000 homes by 2020, which will only be available to first-time buyers. The aim is to bring the average age of a person buying their first home down from 37 to 31. As well as this, there will be an additional 100,000 homes built and sold at a 20 per cent discount for those under 40.

12. House prices

The lack of a Labour mansion tax means house prices will go up generally, arguably making it much tougher for first time buyers. The rapid price increase, a countrywide average of £100 a day, is worst for those trying to buy in the south-east and London, where prices are already sky-high.

13. Drug use

Unlike the smaller parties, there were no promises from either Labour or the Conservatives to legalise cannabis or decriminalise drug possession.

14. Benefits

People aged between 18 and 21 will no longer be able to claim Jobseeker's Allowance, but instead a 'Youth Allowance' will be able to be claimed for a maximum of six months. After that, they must take up an apprenticeship or do community work to claim benefits.

15. Sex ed

Instead of enforcing LGBT sex education as Labour proposed, or sex education from age 7 as the Lib Dems wanted. Cameron says he wants to respect the choice of the parents over sex education in schools.

16. Human rights

The Conservatives have pledged to abolish the Human Rights Act and replace it with a British Bill of Rights to ‘reflect British values’ (whatever they are).

Bridie is a student brand ambassador for i. You can follow her on Twitter here.

More: [7 laws the Lib Dems stopped the Tories from passing]2

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