Money too tight to mention

Tash is 15 and she's worried about debt. She's not alone.

In July this year, counselling charity, Relate, said of the 15,000 young people they see every year, nearly a quarter of them are depressed about money.

For Tash, her worry stems from witnessing the effects of the financial crisis on her parents and the stress and sadness is causes them. But, if Tash was a few years older and looking for work, she might find her own chances of getting a job - and staying out of debt - significantly reduced as a result of the economic downturn.

Young people are hit hardest by recession. Lacking the training or experience to hit the ground running at work, they are often overlooked in a time of financial hardship - as recently evidenced by the scrapping of graduate recruitment schemes at BT, Corus and Innocent Drinks.

As well as youth unemployment having an immediate cost - as much as £3.4 million a day, according to The Guardian - there's also a longer term issue to consider. When the economy turns around and the demand for young, willing and able people increases once again, a lost generation of young people who are unskilled and inexperienced is no good to anybody; slowing the country's ability to get back on its feet.

And so we return to what's at the heart of The Teens' Speech. Young people will inherit and shape our country and we have a duty to ensure they have fulfilled and happy futures. If we don't, their unhappiness and lack of opportunity will ultimately impact on all of us.