Quebec youth on Budget 2018: Confident about job prospects, but concerned with environment, education and income inequality.
The next generation of Quebec taxpayers have provided their insights and opinions on the major issues that are likely to be featured in this year’s budget.
The results show that Quebec students, by and large, want more government investment in education and health care. In general, they support universal access to all levels of education and want higher student retention rates at high schools. They would also like training and skill upgrading programs to be more accessible to employers and workers. In spite of these spending priorities, most students want to see the provincial government exercise tighter control on its overall spending.
For the first time ever, high school and CEGEP students from across the province participated in the Quebec Student Budget Consultation, an initiative coordinated by CIVIX-Québec to engage youth in the provincial government’s pre-budget consultation process.
Approximately 2,000 students from almost 100 schools throughout the province took part in the 2018 Québec Student Budget Consultation.
Major points of interest include:
- Investment in education and healthcare – Approximately three-quarters of students want the Quebec government to invest more in health care. For the majority of students (61%), post-secondary funding and environmental protections are also major spending priorities. In contrast, only 10% of students would like to see increased funding for culture and communications initiatives.
- Education as a way to support families – Students (38%) believe that increasing the affordability and accessibility of higher education is the best step that the government could take to assist families.
- Ranking major issues – In their ranking of government priorities, students selected education, health care, poverty and inequality, the environment and the economy as their top five concerns.
- Students confident in their job prospects – 88% of students are confident that, after graduating, they will be able to find jobs which interest them in Quebec.
- Youth unemployment a moderate concern – Only 47% of students believe that there is a youth unemployment problem in the province, while 53% do not believe this to be the case. Young men are less likely than their female counterparts to believe that the province is experiencing a youth unemployment problem.
- Upward mobility is possible – 75% of students believe that with hard work upward mobility is achievable in Quebec society today.
- Student retention as the highest priority in education – When it comes to education, reducing high school dropout rates is the topmost priority for students, followed by investing in school infrastructure and improving teacher-training programs at university.
- Environmental regulations – The majority of students (58%) favour stricter environmental regulations regardless of the economic impact on consumers.
- Indigenous land rights – Half of students agree that Indigenous people should have more control over their ancestral territory.
- Balancing the budget – More than half of students (55%) believe that the government deficit should be eliminated at all costs. A slightly larger proportion of students (60%) thinks that reducing the debt should be one of the highest priorities for the government.
- Income inequality a concern – Almost two-thirds of students (63%) believe that income inequality is a problem in Quebec. Most would also like wealthy individuals and corporations to be taxed at higher rates than they currently are.
To view an infographic of the results highlights, click here.
About the Student Budget Consultation
The Student Budget Consultation provides youth with an opportunity to learn about the government’s revenues and expenditures, discuss important political issues and suggested policies and offer their insights on the priorities of the budget. The opinions of students are collected through a survey and the results are shared with media and the political parties.
The 2018 Student Budget Consultation was organized by CIVIX-Québec.
The 2018 Student Budget Consultation survey was conducted in partnership with Vox Pop Labs (the creator of Vote Compass) between February and March 2018.
About the Organization
CIVIX-Québec is a registered charity dedicated to building the skills and habits of active and engaged citizenship among young Quebecers. CIVIX-Québec provides experiential learning opportunities to help young Quebecers practice their rights and responsibilities as citizens and connect with their democratic institutions.
For further information:
For comment, please contact Catherine McDonald at [email protected] or 1-418-802-1505
Click here to view the full report,
Click here to view a map of registered schools.