The manifestos: Labour offers interest rate bonus to all savers under 30

Turnout among the younger voters in Britain is particularly low. So what is being offered to tempt them into the polling booths at the 2010 general election?
Click to follow
Indy Politics

All basic rate taxpayers between 18 and 30 will be offered the chance to save money in a government-backed "Super ISA" if Labour wins the general election, Gordon Brown will pledge tomorrow.

The Super ISA scheme, which could cost £30m a year, would see the state offering high levels of interest on a new savings account for the under-30s, as part of a package of measures to win over the younger generation.

Labour's manifesto, written by Ed Miliband, will also pledge five hours of sport and five hours of arts and culture for all five- to 16-year-olds, twice as many organised youth activities on Friday and Saturday nights, and will encourage teenagers to put in 50 hours of community service by the age of 19.

A senior Labour source said: "We want to ensure that our manifesto has optimism about opportunities for young people at its heart."

The Tories have also promised a National Citizens' Service for youngsters to take part in social action projects as part of plans to mend what they claim is Britain's "broken society".

Unveiling the Tory manifesto on Tuesday, David Cameron will announce an extension of Tory plans for a "pupil premium", where state money follows pupils from poorer backgrounds. There will also be a cast-iron promise to rule out cuts to disability benefits for older people and the "death tax" the Tories claim Labour is planning to fund care for the elderly.

In an acknowledgement that Labour needs to present a fresher agenda to the under-30s to compete with Mr Cameron's promise of change, ministers have drawn up a series of pledges to attract the youth vote.

The Labour pledges chime with The Independent on Sunday's One of the Above campaign to boost voter turnout, which is particularly low among younger people.

Labour's manifesto will contain few major spending pledges because of the constricted public finances. But party sources said it would promise "unambiguous reform" in three key areas: rebuilding the economy, renewing society and public services, and restoring trust.

The Super ISA for under-30s will be based on the Government's Savings Gateway scheme, which, after two years, makes a one-off payment of 50p for every £1 saved by those on low incomes. The new plan will apply to all basic rate taxpayers under 30.

Other Labour policies aimed at the young include extended apprenticeships for 16- to 18-year-olds from 2013; and a free vote in Parliament on giving 16-year-olds the vote.

In what will be seen as a riposte to the Tories' broken society, Labour will promise to preserve the character of British high streets, with new council and licensing laws to protect pubs and post offices, while curbing the growth of bookmakers.

Yet critics say the Government has done little to protect the high street and has overseen the closure of hundreds of post office branches.