Eris and Saige, Swindon Socialist Party
For young people seeking jobs or in employment, wages are pitiful. Even more so when you look at the staggering cost of living. It raises the question of why younger people are paid so poorly. Are we worth less as workers than anybody else?
The National Living Wage, the minimum rate if you are 23-years-old or over, is £10.42 per hour. The Tories say they’re on the side of low-paid workers as they’ve announced they are bringing down the threshold to 21-year-olds next year. But then why are 16 to 17-year-olds paid barely over half of that, at a miserable £5.28?
The government website says it’s to protect employers, but does food and rent cost less if you’re young? Landlords don’t charge less for younger tenants. Surely wages should be enough to live on, whether you’re 17 or 70.
Since 2013 there has been a 25% increase in young adults living at home, a clear connection to rising rents and house prices.
As young people we need to financially support ourselves as much as anyone else. Not to mention, financing a university degree (to qualify for decent-paying jobs), which is a mammoth task, and bursaries are few and far between.
The Socialist Party fights for a £15-an-hour minimum wage for all, without exemptions. For the minimum wage to automatically increase linked to average earnings or inflation, whichever is higher.