Bower demands equality on minimum wage and benefits for young people

West Tyrone Alliance Westminster candidate Michael Bower has stated that if elected, a priority of his will be to see the discrimination against young people in minimum wage and jobseeker’s allowance addressed. Currently those under the age of 22 receive a lower minimum wage, and under 18 lower still. Also those under the age of 25 get almost £15 a week less in jobseeker’s allowance than those aged 25 or older.

Michael Bower, who, at 23, is Alliance’s youngest candidate in this election stated “Employers are not allowed to pay differential levels of minimum wage on the basis of gender, race or sexuality so why should age be treated differently?

“At 18, an individual could be a parent, live in their own house and be out of education in exactly the same way as an individual over the age of 25 could be, with similar financial outgoings. Alliance believes in equality and these are examples of age-based discrimination from the UK Government. Removing this discriminatory barrier would help remove a number of young people out of poverty.

“In order to mitigate the effect on businesses of a rise in minimum wage, Alliance proposes a reduction to the rate of corporation tax, more in line to that of the Republic of Ireland.

“In terms of jobseeker’s allowance, the Government cannot justify paying less money to under 25-year-olds. It is important that these young people remain looking for employment and don’t get caught in a cycle of claiming benefits, however the Government cannot just decide that they require less money to live then those older than 25.

“It is important that young adults are treated as full adults.”


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