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When you're sixteen in the UK, you can live separate from your parents, but it's almost impossible to get a council house. You can get a job but you won't get paid as much as older people. You can become unemployed but it's practically impossible to get on the dole. You can buy a lottery ticket, but you can't bet on a horse. You can drink wine with a meal in a restaurant, but you can't buy a bottle yourself. You don't have to go to college, but most employers will discriminate against you if you don't, even if you don't need any qualifications for the job.
At 16, I moved out. I found somewhere I could just about afford with my boyfriend, and I got a job. I got paid less than my coworkers, but did a better job than them most of the time. I lost my job, and couldn't go on the dole. You can technically get most jobs, but not anything involving machinery.
Found a job - I couldn't even buy a bottle of wine to celebrate
My partner and I split up and I couldn't get a council flat, despite the fact that I fit all the criteria except being over 18. I moved somewhere cheaper, but I couldn't claim benefits so I could afford my rent comfortably, so I moved into a house share.
I couldn't gamble to try and raise more money, and it was very hard getting another job because I'm young, and most employers just don't want to know. I couldn't even do the agency work available in my area because it was all in factories.
And when I finally found a job? I couldn't even buy a bottle of wine to celebrate!
Either make everything legal at 16, and make all benefits fully available at 16, or change it all to 18. You wouldn't reduce the things over 60's are entitled to, so why do it this way around.
Why does nobody accept that ageism works for young people too!