Over the past term , BULS has been running a campaign on the equalisation of the minimum wage. Our aim is the elimination of the 18-22 age bracket and leveling the wage of those in that age bracket up to the full £5.73 an hour.
We had a fantastic response from all students and managed to collect over 600 signatures with many more too come.
Last Friday , Gisela Stuart MP for Edgbaston, came and spoke at our first public meeting and showed support for our campaign.
Gisela started off the night with a talk on how the minimum wage came into effect and why it was so important. We all agree, the national minimum wage (NMW) is one of our cornerstone achievement as a party and government , it is an achievement that makes us proud to be labour.
Contrary to some economic positions , unemployment is bad, it excludes individuals from making money firstly. As well as ostracising them from the rest of society. This exclusion can lead to a cycle of dependance on the state, social depravation and even poverty. But, a NMW allows individuals to earn more than state benefits , it promote social inclusion allowing them to maintain good mental and physical health. It makes an individual feel part of the wider society.
Yet , how can we still have such an arbitray age bracket that actively discriminates against a worker due to their age?
No benefits discriminates like this, No company or individual would get away with paying over 65′s a different rate, yet if you are under 22 you can be paid at a lower rate to your colleagues over 22, even in the same position.
The next step in the campaign is to bring it too a wider audience, its positive reception at Birmingham alone is proof that this campaign is wanted and with more support we can eradicate this unnecessary age bracket and deliver equality to all those effected.
Ben is the newly elected BULS freshers’ officer- Ed