MSP gives backing to vote for 16 year-olds

North East SNP MSP Mark McDonald has added his voice to the Votes at 16 Coalition campaign to secure the vote for 16 and 17-year olds.

Launched in 2003, the Votes at 16 Coalition brings together young people, politicians and organisations who support lowering the vote to 16.

Led by a steering group made up of a number of organisations including the Scottish Youth Parliament, the group advocates following the example of countries such as Austria and Brazil in extending the franchise in all UK elections.

Commenting, Mr. McDonald said, “It is ludicrous that 16 and 17 year olds can pay tax and National Insurance, but have no say over the rates at which they are taxed due to their lack of franchise.

“It is clear that young people are politically aware, and politically interested, but they are prevented from being fully politically active as they are not entitled to vote.

“I have added my support to the motion put forward by my colleague Kevin Stewart MSP and I would urge others to support this excellent campaign. I hope that the UK Government will listen to the campaign and act decisively.”

Helen Deakin of the Votes at 16 Coalition welcomed Mr McDonald’s support saying, “The Votes at 16 coalition welcome Mr McDonald’s commitment to our campaign.

“We think that Kevin Stewart’s motion on votes at 16 is an important way for MSPs to demonstrate that Scotland wants the power to engage in its democracy the 126,000 16 and 17 year olds in Scotland currently denied the vote.”