A strong case for votes at 16
OCTOBER 22, 2019
Over 1.5 million young people aged 16 and 17 years are currently denied the vote in the UK.
The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Votes at 16, founded in April 2018 following years of lobbying for a lower voting age in Parliament, have published a new report that makes the case for votes at 16 and the campaign. Download the new report here.
The purpose of the APPG is to bring together key voices from across Parliament to listen to evidence on the case for votes at 16, and to present this evidence to the Government. Progress has been made on the issue both inside and outside of Parliament. There has been some significant media attention, and votes at 16 is being debated more than ever.
Extending the franchise will engage 16 and 17 year olds, who hold many responsibilities in our society, to influence key decisions that affect their lives and ensure youth issues are represented. It is impossible to justify the automatic and blanket exclusion of 16 and 17 year olds from the right to vote because, at 16, the law allows a person to:
- give full consent to medical treatment
- leave school and enter work or training
- pay income tax and National Insurance
- obtain tax credits and welfare benefits in their own right
- consent to sexual relationships
- get married or enter a civil partnership
- change their name by deed poll
- become a director of a company
- join the armed forces
- become a member of a trade union or a co-operative society.
Unite fully supports the Votes at 16 campaign and have recently commissioned a short video to publicise why it is so important to extend the franchise to all 16 and 17 year olds. You can support the campaign here.