A living wage for all should be established, according to the UK Youth Parliament, which has chosen the issue as its national campaign for 2015. Mental health was also chosen as UKYP’s priority campaign for England.
These motions were two of five debated by the UK Youth Parliament in the House of Commons chamber this afternoon, Friday 14th November, chaired by Speaker of the House of Commons the Rt Hon John Bercow MP.
‘Everyone should be paid at least the Living Wage’ became the priority campaign after securing 156 votes.
The votes cast for the other topics were:
- Mental health services should be improved with our help: 176
- Votes for 16 and 17 year olds in all public elections: 117
- Better work experience and careers advice: 78
- Bring back exam resits in English and Maths: 33
A total of 285 Members of Youth Parliament aged 11-18 took part in the debates, the subjects for which were voted for by 876,000 young people across the UK in the annual UKYP Make Your Mark ballot.
Minister for Civil Society Rob Wilson MP, who attended the debate, said: “Today we have seen Britain’s young people at their best – informed, articulate and passionate. You have demonstrated what Parliament and politics can be at its very best”.
Speaking on the topic of a living wage, the young person who introduced the winning debate, Vikram Patel, from the West Midlands, said: “We must stand for the millions of young people being short changed by their employer because the law currently makes a baseless distinction on the grounds of age. Age should not be a factor in differences of wages.”
On the topic of improving mental health services, Francesca Reed, from the South West, said: “The bottom line is that mental health issues affect every single one of us, whether directly or indirectly through supporting a friend, and therefore we need mental health education to a be a compulsory part of the curriculum, and we need to be consulted on how mental health services should be improved.”
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Download the full transcript here