This year’s Young Person’s Question Time, hosted by the Hansard Society, was a well-attended and informative meeting. About 200 young folk- ranging from primary school pupils to twenty-something professionals- braved a lengthy queue and the brisk November weather to view the clash of ideas in Portcullis House, situated directly opposite the Palace of Westminster.

What do you think of the questions people have been asking?

Inspiring. Incredible. I wish I could stay until the end of the debate and engage more. Young people have come here because they are passionate about their own life and career. Not just about politics. They want to do something to be good citizens for this country.

Do you think that Britain is becoming a rich man’s vision, but a poor man’s prison ?

I do not agree with that. I came out of university with very little money. My parents were immigrants to this country. My father came here with 50£ in his pocket. This country gave us two gifts: freedom and opportunity. Opportunity is now even bigger for young people. If you look at what the government is trying to do for the poorer people, such as making income up to 9440£ tax free, it is really helping people to earn and keep more money before facing the tax cliff.

How could the level of unemployment be decreased?

The way to create opportunity is to create jobs. Government cannot create jobs. If government subsidizes job creation, it does not help the society. The only way to create actual beneficial jobs is to create the environment where people can and want to start their own businesses. There must be an effort to back young people with grants and schemes to give them the necessary support. I want to see the tax free income to increase even further.

A lot of young people who have children get a negative label put on them. The benefits are given under the same umbrella, even though some of the youth wants to work and study and others do not. I see it as unfair.

That is unfortunate, but I do not think that the government feels that way. The government is trying to make sure that people who get up in the morning and work do not pay tax on the first 9440£. It may be going up to 10 000£. Now employers can take up to four people on the minimum wage and they do not pay national insurance tax on these people.

Some of the young people do not have the funds to pursue their personal hobbies, sports or interests. The hobbies of the youth should be supported from a young age in order to get them to start their own businesses later on. How could the education system be improved?

I agree. The education system has far too long let the young people down. More schools should be academies. When we came into office there was about 200 academies and now there is about 2200. Allowing governor teams and head teachers to take control over their budget is a good thing. In that case the local government will not act as a second level of bureaucracy. This governing structure has shown good results in my constituency. What we are trying to do is to say to the local government that you should not cut the funding of front end services. Look at your back office services, several of these duties can be shared with other local governments. The saved money can be used to better the front end services. No government in this country (since after the war) has been able to raise in taxation more than about 40% of GDP (of what the country produces). In 1978 the 1% of rich people only delivered about 14% of taxes. Today when the tax is lower, the 1% is delivering nearly 30%. Raising taxes changes the way people behave, taxing more does not give better results. It is about getting the balance right. If the government is not able to raise over 40% of GDP through taxes, they should not spend more than that. The government has to spend within its means.