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#Election2015: Why Should We Vote?

Monday 20 April 2015
Words Alice Bell

Today, Monday 20th April, is the deadline for registering to vote in this years elections, and if you’re anything like me, and majority of people I know you’re either:

a) not voting
b) still undecided who to vote for

But why is this?

Politics: a middle aged white mans game, and an elitist topic of conversation(?).

WRONG. It’s an assumption we’re all made to feel; education or not, politics affects us all, so why shouldn’t we discuss what’s happening in the community around us and make an impact towards our future?

Maybe it’s because the “subjects that disproportionately affect the young get bumped down the political agenda”, which then make us feel that our opinions don’t matter.

To find out more about what each party was offering young voters, entrepreneurs and small businesses, Spindle emailed every parties press office, and the only response we got was from the Green Party

Over the past few weeks I’ve been asking friends and colleagues who they’ll be voting for, and not one person gave a certain answer. This is a bunch of mid-late twenty something’s; editors, entrepreneurs, people who can make a difference and who are choosing not to, but why? Because there isn’t anyone in the running who relates to the under 30s.

The policies aren’t broken down into a simple structure, what is each party offering to young people? Bite the Ballot do a brilliant job at engaging with the younger market with fun activities, videos and events.

Despite each political party hiring creative agencies to produce their digital ad campaigns to reach wider audiences, they have left our generation feeling disinvolved, by not including technology within their electoral campaigns *taking a selfie with Joey Essex doesn’t count*. Contrary to popular belief, there’s more you can do to attract younger peoples attention than a selfie with a Z list celebrity.

Musicians are doing more to engage with younger audiences than politicians with Owen Jones opening as support act for Paloma Faith, and spoken word artists such as George the Poet. and Hollie McNish:

Why do you think it’s so important that people do vote? Young people especially?

Because laws are made to please voters, not people” – Hollie McNish

Below, we have listed (what we can find) what each party has said they will do for young people and small businesses:

Green Party
– Scrap tuition fees
– Increase the minimum wage to £10p/h
– Lower the voting age to 16
– Reduce the waiting time for mental health patients
– Bring academies and locals schools into the local authority system
– Fight for public funded NHS
– Appeal the health and social care act of 2012
– Taken serious action on climate change by working with other countries to ensure global temperatures to not rise above 2 degrees
– Abolish bedroom tax
– Build 500,000 social rented homes by 2020, and bring empty homes back into use
– Cap rent and introduce longer tenancies to provide greater protection for renters
– Return railways to public hands, and introduce an immediate cut in fares across transport in general
– Promote walking and cycling
– End austerity and restore the public sector, creating over 1million good jobs, pay for this with a new wealth tax on the top 1%, a Robin Hood tax on the banks, and the closure of tax loop holes.

– They will make benefit cuts and use the savings from that to fund 3 million more apprenticeships for young people by 2020
– Raise the personal allowance to £12,500
– Introduce a savings scheme to help first time buyers
Support a further 3m apprenticeships.
Business loans for 75,000 entrepreneurs

– Freeze train fares for a year
– Lower the voting age to 16
– Freeze gas and electricity bills until 2017
– Help people get on the housing ladder by getting 200,000 homes built a year by 2020
– Guarantee a GP appointment within 24 hours
– Making sure the NHS doesn’t get privatised
– Increase the number of apprenticeships and technical courses, focus on vocational training

Lib Dems
– 2/3rd discount for under 21s
– Double number of businesses hiring apprentices
– Reduced corporation tax to 20%
– Abolishing annual tax returns
– Simplifying NICs for the self-employed and creating a single digital account for all your tax needs.
– Increased support for everyone who pays business rates, especially small businesses and retailers.
– Adding an extra £8billion funding into the NHS
– £500million a year to go focus on mental health care and waiting time standards, transform mental help services to get more help closer to home
– A package and support with bonuses for carers
– Protect early years schools, sixth form and college budgets, the core curriculum to be taught by qualified teachers
– Cut tax by £400 more, raising personal allowance to at least £12,500
– Bring in £6billion extra tax per year from further crackdowns on tax avoidance

“Now is the time for a new inspiring vision of the future, from a leader who can not only lead but who is not afraid to connect and collaborate.

So, to sum up the question; why should we vote? To get our voice heard, we are the future, and however unimportant you may feel your vote is, it matters. Otherwise, do it to prove this journalist wrong about young voters.

Are you going to vote? What would make you more interested? Get in touch