Voting is a confusing thing for young voters. It is also very vital that young people do vote, as we the under 25's hold the majority of power in wasted votes that could be going towards having a say in our country....
As mentioned, many young people do not vote for a number of reasons. It's too confusing what the parties stand for half the time, you feel that even if you voted nothing is going to change or that it is too boring. The later two are the most annoying reasons, as it should be the government's responsibility to electrify the General Election and make it more exciting for us; entice us to get involved so that we can put our right to vote to good use and make a difference in our lives.
This is why politics is an old persons game, they are more likely to vote so politicians will aim their policies at them. Call me crazy, but this is our time. The older generation have had their fun and say; we are the new kids in town and it's time to get Miliband, Cameron and Clegg chasing us for their chance to govern our country.
Whilst there could be more policies aimed at our age groups, the parties have taken us into some consideration. To make everything much simpler for you and encourage you all to vote, here is a break down of the policies and what the parties are offering to our generation. I have only focused on Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrats as I could not find much else for the other parties (and was not going to waste my time tying out anything to do with UKIP), but I encourage all to go and do the research for yourselves to find the party that suits you the best:
Conservative (aka The Oldie But Goodie)
- The Conservatives are going to tackle unemployment full on; advising that 'anyone who wants a job will be able to get a job.'
- The also want to reform the benefit system; cutting housing benefit completely for 18- 21 year olds.
- The money they save from the cuts, will be used to fund 3 million more apprenticeships for young people by 2020.
- They will also ban zero- hour contracts that stop you from working elsewhere.
- They want to raise the personal allowance for tax, from £10,600 to £12,500 (more money for you to take home at the end of the day)
- They have promised to build 200,000 homes for first time buyers.
- They want to introduce a new bank account to help young people save for a house. For every £1.00 saved towards a deposit the government will add 25p (up to £200 a month and a total of £12,000).
Labour (aka The Fresh Face Ones)
- Labour want to guarantee a job for under 25 year olds unemployed for over a year.
- They have promised to raise the minimum wage to 'more than £8.00 an hour' by October 2019.
- They will also ban zero hour contracts.
- They will freeze train fares for a year.
- They will also freeze gas and electricity prices until the start of 2017.
- Labour also want to lower the voting age to allow 16 and 17 year olds to also vote in future elections.
- The will ban letting agent fee's, create a national register for landlords and will make 3 year tenancies the norm. There will also be a ceiling on excessive rent rises.
- They will build 200,000 homes a year in England by 2020 and priority given to local first- time buyers.
- The will cut university tuition fees for students from England by £3,000.
The Liberal Democrats (aka The Game Changers)
- The Lib Dems have proposed plans to make it easier for young people to rent homes
- They say 18- 30 year olds could borrow up to £1,500 from the government for a deposit, which would have to be paid off within two years.
- They will also raise personal allowance for tax from £10,600 to £12,500.
- The also want to give 16 and 17 year olds the right to vote.
- They want to see all state schools use qualified teachers and make sure pupils have sex education lessons.
- They will increase house building to 300,0 a year in England and will introduce a 'rent to own scheme'.
- They will introduce a bus pass, giving 16- 21 year olds 2/3 off all bus travel.
To finish, here are the startling statistics; as of 7 May (Election Day in the UK) 3.3 million young people will be eligible to vote for the first time in their lives. However statistics show that only 41% of these people have suggested they will actually take the time to go out and use that power- leaving at least 2 million young people who will not vote. In stark contrast to the over 60 generation- over 60% of this group will vote.
These figures need to change and we are the people who can do this. Please feel free to comment on who you will be voting for next Thursday and what policies have made your vote.