The Pirate Party in Manchester. Looking forward to the Ancoats and Clayton By-election, December 2013

Social Policy

Manifesto Social Policy thumbnail✔ No Discrimination
✔ Equal Parental Leave
✔ Equal Marriage
✔ Bridge the Age Divide

Everyone should have the opportunity to be equally involved in society. Discrimination on the basis of age, such as the lower minimum wage bracket for 18 to 20 year olds, as well as bias against young people in the welfare system is divisive and unhelpful. There should also be greater and more balanced parental leave to support those in the crucial first stages of starting a family. Helping people so that they can help themselves is the right thing to do, and much more cost effective than leaving them out.

We still face problems in the UK with discrimination on the basis of age, race, gender and sexual orientation either in law or in practice. It is time to change that. Equality is vital for a healthy society and given the tax system doesn’t discriminate, social policy shouldn’t either. Simple but significant changes, like allowing equal LBGT marriage are important and achievable.

Any new legislation or regulation should be for a good reason and based on sound evidence. Proposals like alcohol price hikes, which I oppose, don’t even have the benefit of having a clear intent, or any evidence to show what they are likely to achieve. Instead they will restrict businesses and our leisure.

Instead of writing people off, we need to think creatively and help people to find their own solutions. We should pilot a mentoring programme, matching young people not in education or employment with older people finding the next stage in their career, bridging the generation gap for mutual benefit.

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