On 24th October 2022, Rishi Sunak was voted leader of the Conservative party, and by default, appointed as the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. As Sunak establishes himself, the British Youth Council calls upon the government to reaffirm its efforts to protect young people from the cost of living crisis, the detrimental effects of which will continue to be felt as we move into winter.
In his final statement before appointment, released on his Twitter account on the 23rd October, Sunak expressed his concern at the “challenges we face”, suggesting he wants to “fix our economy and…deliver for our country.” His words follow weeks of “bold” economic decisions by predecessor Liz Truss, who’s mini budget was widely criticised for its negative repercussions – and did little to assure the most disadvantaged households their needs would be effectively met.
The British Youth Council is concerned that any further fluctuations to the cost of living will continue to affect young people already experiencing inequality. Appealing to Liz Truss on behalf of its members last month, the charity asserted that young people must have a voice in this crisis so the multitude of issues they’re facing can be adequately addressed. This point still stands: the government must act now, before it is too late.
Sarah Staples, Chair of the British Youth Council said: “We welcome the appointment of the new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak MP, and look forward to liaising closely with the government over the coming weeks and months to amplify the voices of young people throughout this turbulent time.
“We have a list of pleas for the incumbent Prime Minister and his wider cabinet to address, but we must start with tackling the cost of living crisis. Without radical action, we know that the four million young people living in poverty in the UK today will continue to face further devastation.”
The British Youth Council represents the views of millions of young people across the UK and is in the process of writing to the newly appointed Prime Minister to reiterate demands outlined in its manifesto – several of which will be debated next week in the charity’s annual UK Youth Parliament debate in the House of Commons. While the future of the countries economics remains uncertain, the British Youth Council firmly believes that in order to fully support young people, the government must seek out and take action on their views.