End the age wage gap for young people
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At the age of 16, you can have children, live by yourself, get married, join the army, and you must pay adult fees for public transport. However, if you are between the ages of 16-18, you are paid a minimum wage of £4 an hour, whilst at the age of 18 the minimum wage is £5.55 - over 38% higher (21-25 year olds would get £6.95 and people over 25 would get £7.20). Considering the increased costs students are now expected to pay, particularly if they want to go to university, this seems a disproportionate difference.
Your age is just as changeable as your gender, ethnicity or sexuality and fundamentally people should get the same pay for the same work.
Contacting my MP, I got the ever-helpful response that the gap was to both encourage employers to employ young people, and to disincentivise young people from working whilst still in school. From my experience as a 17-year old, all I have noticed is that my friends are being asked to do more and more hours than their adult colleagues whilst still at school, simply to cut costs.
I feel the age pay gap is one that is often forgotten, despite its scale. I realised its full extent after getting my weekend job at a local supermarket; to earn the same amount as my 18 year old friends I would need to work an extra 4 hours every weekend on top of the 14 I am currently doing. The inequality in wages is clear, and I feel it is one that should be addressed in parliament. Other pay gaps are illegal, while this one is enforced by the law.
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