Freezing minimum wage, leaving youth in the cold

Freezing minimum wage, leaving youth in the cold

I personally don’t understand how the government thinks paying youths only £3.68 per hour is reasonable, let alone freezing it again for a second year at this decumbent rate. The argument against the raise is that it would lead to less youths being employed and thus not assist the individual or the economy in the long term. What the government is considering is whether increasing the rate slightly is more beneficial to the individual or whether freezing and allowing more employment is better for the economy. However, the government has yet to release any statistics from last year showing whether employment rates actually did increase for youths following last year’s freeze.  Should the rate be frozen without any clear evidence of actual help to the economy? All we ever hear in the news is doom and gloom of increasing unemployment or funding cuts to activities & services. In a world where everyone is suppose to be equal, then why are there different rates payable to different aged people; with our elders earning at least 68% more than us for potentially the same work, just because they’re older. But that’s another discussion, let’s get the minimum wage raised for youths after last year’s freeze, at least to meet the rate of inflation – so youths can save for rising university fees or even feed themselves. Many argue that the minimum wage should also be based upon geographical factors – as the cost of living in London compared to Birmingham is 52% more, considering the aforementioned is a capital city and the latter being iconic and the second city of England....
Abda Kazemi: Life as a Member of Youth Parliament

Abda Kazemi: Life as a Member of Youth Parliament

I am Abda Kazemi and I am currently the Member of Youth Parliament for the London Borough of Redbridge. I am 16 years old, in full time education and am working closely with my Youth Council to make a difference in my local community. It’s a real honour for me to have been chosen by my peers to represent them. Young people today often struggle for their voices to be heard, and being a Member of Youth Parliament (MYP) gives me a platform to raise the issues that are important to people my age. As well as helping locally, I’ve been given the opportunity to help young people on a national scale as well. The MYPs are going to takeover the House of Commons on Friday 23rd November to debate issues that we feel are important. The debate topics were chosen by young people – not adults telling us what we should be talking about. After many meetings, local campaigns and the Annual Sitting of MYPs, I can’t wait to get to Westminster! I think being able to go to the House of Commons to hold a debate is certainly one of the most exciting things I’ll get to do as a Member of Youth Parliament. It feels surreal that myself and the rest of the hardworking MYPs from across the country will have the opportunity to debate the topics that young people feel the most passionate about in the House of Commons. The topics we are going to debate were chosen by vote. A staggering 250,000 young people voted in the ‘Make Your Mark’ campaign to choose the...
Journalism Opportunities with the 99% Campaign Blog

Journalism Opportunities with the 99% Campaign Blog

About the 99% Campaign The 99% Campaign is a youth-led initiative that aims to dispel negative stereotypes of young people, and promote their involvement in decision-making processes and civic life. The campaign is hosted by Independent Academic Research Studies (IARS), an independent think-tank with a charitable mission to give everyone a chance to forge a safer, fairer and more inclusive society. The 99% Campaign blog is written and run by young people. It is one of the vehicles that we use to spread the message of the 99% Campaign. We also have a twitter account @wethe99percent and we work with various media partners such as METRO, Guardian online and BBC. Our work is also supported by our Coalition group. Our blog acts as a platform for us to express our views, debate issues that we feel strongly about, be a voice for change in our communities, challenge negative perceptions about young people, and promote the positive contributions of young people in society. Negative perceptions of young people are perpetuated throughout the media, and there is a great deal that is not understood about the challenges and issues facing young people today. This blog is a place for us to speak for ourselves and explore these issues on our own terms. How You Can Get Involved We are looking for young volunteers to write articles that promote the positive contributions of young people and discuss areas of social policy that affect them, and also volunteers who are interested in helping to maintain the blog and coordinate with other volunteers. The articles and opinion pieces that you write will promote the...
Why are we holding back on teaching our youth about politics?

Why are we holding back on teaching our youth about politics?

I don’t know about you, but other than the names of the three main political parties in the UK, I grew up knowing very little about politics until I reached university. It seems I am not alone, as a discussion on the BBC Free Speech Twitter earlier this month covered this very topic, with the majority of people calling for politics to take greater priority in our schools. In UK state schools youngsters are often not even presented with the choice of learning about politics in in-depth lessons until they begin their A-levels at the age of sixteen. The most we can hope for is an underwhelming replacement which goes by the name of Citizenship and PSHE lessons. These lessons make up a mere one hour of the school week, often taught by the form tutor rather than a specialist in the subject. Politics rules the world we live in, from the amount of added tax we pay on our clothing, to the lessons in school which are made compulsory to the ever rising cost of food. So why is such a vital part of our lives being ignored until the age of sixteen, whereas youngsters now in Scotland are being given the right to vote whilst probably knowing little more than the basics of one of the most important topics in the world? If our youths are being given substandard replacements to politics classes, how are we supposed to produce the next generation of great leaders from all areas of society? What we currently have is rule from the top down, as 54% of the representatives from the...

Obama vs. Romney: the conclusion

The ballots have been collected and reveal that Barack Obama has won a second and final term as the President of the United States of America for another four years. Can I say I’m pleased and relieved? Yes, I could not ask for a better decision. Over the last few weeks the race for both campaigns became a bitter, aggressive battle for the post which consisted of Mitt Romney continuously opposing each political argument without any sufficient solution. Romney’s views did not consider the female half of the population on topics like abortion, which he opposed; this neglect was seen as a partial factor to his downfall. In contrast, Obama’s response to the recent events of Hurricane Sandy that led to numerous deaths and left devastation in its wake was seen as a factor for his triumph. The president dropped all campaign duties in order to visit the victims and their families in their time of need. This was seen as a positive contrast to President George Bush Jr.’s reaction to Hurricane Katrina which revealed a lack of attention or even care for the homeless victims – it was clear Obama did not want to repeat this mistake. Additionally, Osama Bin Laden’s killing could have possibly put him into America’s good favour. However, we still have to wait for the actual truth of events to realise whether that was a decision made for the public or a decision made in his best interests. Although I am glad for his victory, I do wonder what this will mean for the future of America and consequently the rest of the world....