Lyttle calls for votes at 16 for Northern Ireland

Alliance Chair of the Assembly Group on Children and Young People, Chris Lyttle MLA, has said that the voting age in Northern Ireland should also be lowered to 16 after a report recommended a similar proposal for Scotland.

In the wake of the Scottish referendum, the Smith Commission has put forward a number of suggestions including giving the Scottish Parliament the powers to give votes to 16 and 17 year olds.

Chris Lyttle MLA said: “It was great to see so many 16 and 17 year olds vote in the recent Scottish referendum and I am pleased that it looks like they will also be able to vote in future Scottish elections. It has been a long standing Alliance policy that the voting age should be reduced to 16 -something that we have supported in the Assembly and Westminster. By reducing the voting age we can encourage more young people to take an interest and get involved in the democratic process whilst still in education.

“If young people at 16 are old enough to work, join the armed forces and pay taxes, then it is only right that they have a say in who makes those key decisions and how taxes are spent. If you pay taxes then you deserve representation.

“There is a clear need for a fundamental renewal of politics in Northern Ireland and giving a new generation of young people the opportunity to have their say will help inspire this process.

“I would encourage young people interested in supporting votes at 16 to find out more about the work of Public Achievement, the Northern Ireland Youth Forum and Rock the Vote NI on this campaign.”


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