Guernsey Press

Youth States in favour of regulation of vapes

Vapes should be regulated, the minimum wage should be linked to inflation and assisted dying should be legalised, the Youth States has agreed.

Saturday's Youth States debate was presided over by the Bailiff and Deputy Bailiff. (Picture by Luke Le Prevost, 32733427)

About a dozen young people between 11 and 18 took part in the Youth Commission initiative, where they spent eight evenings learning about the States and debate.

It culminated in a real States debate on Saturday morning, with young people sat in the Royal Court chamber, presided over by the Bailiff and Deputy Bailiff.

The Youth Commission’s youth clubs team co-ordinator Hayley Winter said the young people had done really well.

‘It was such a nice experience, because I got to see them grow from the first session to today,’ she said.

One of the things that impressed her was how the young people adapted their debates based on what others had said.

Summer Turberville, 14, voted in favour of allowing assisted dying, but said while the vote was carried, there was a lively debate in the chamber, with some arguing against the idea.

‘I have never been in a position where I could affect discussions, so it was interesting to see the opinions,’ she said.

She backed the proposal as people should not have to suffer, she said, but she also noted the difference in healthcare costs.

Bailey Austin, 16, said it was surprising there was not regulation already in place for vaping and voted in favour of it being brought in.

‘There is such regulation around smoking and we know the health problems,’ she said.

‘With vaping we do not know the long-term problems, but we do have indications.’

While the proposal to link minimum wage to inflation was carried, 15-year-old Imogen Bacon voted against the proposal.

While she felt it was important for people to be paid fairly, she said it was also important to look at where the money would be coming from.

‘If we put it onto companies, they may reduce the number of employees,’ she said.

‘It we place the burden on government, they then have to increase taxes.’

She said it was important that any States proposals were properly funded.

Deputies were invited to speak at the evening sessions, but only a few turned up. One of the Youth States members wrote to deputies to express their disappointment. It resulted in a bumper audience of about a dozen deputies in the public gallery on Saturday, including Policy & Resources president Peter Ferbrache.

Bailiff Sir Richard McMahon presided over the session and said he was impressed with the quality of the debate. He will back presiding over the real States this week.

The eventual votes were 8-4 in favour of regulation of vaping and legalised dying, and 9-3 on minimum wage.