What is it?
The Chance to be Chancellor campaign is an online challenge that gives young people aged 14 to 18 the chance to create their own budgets for the country. Participants can use a dedicated microsite, called Paying for It, where they choose from one of four 'advisers', who each have their own idea of what the user should do with this year's budget. The teenager then chooses from a series of policies for various sectors, such as defence, welfare and health, that they agree with. At the end of the survey, a verdict is given, pointing out the pros and cons of each decision they made, and saying whether the budget is in line with the target budget of the adviser selected at the start.
How is it getting children interested?
As well as providing useful links to information on the current financial year’s budget and the challenges facing the government for the next, the site also provides a chance to become Youth Chancellor of the year. After completing the survey, entrants are asked to make their case for the budget they’ve proposed. The winning Youth Chancellor will win an iPad, launch the Youth Budget and have their budget published in The Times.
How is it being promoted?
The campaign has Facebook and Twitter pages encouraging people to sign up. The charity is also looking to team up with youth-led organisations, such as the British Youth Council, the UK Youth Parliament and the information charity YouthNet to create short vox pops for the website.
What happens then?
The campaign closes on 4 March, when the entries will be collated and presented to senior civil servants at a special Youth Budget event.
Third Sector verdict:
The Paying for It website’s eye-catching design, easy-to-follow explanations and links to fun YouTube videos, explaining phenomena such as the credit crunch, are highly effective in making an otherwise intimidating or dull subject interesting and relevant to young people. The campaign cleverly caters for two types of teen, the simplicity of the multiple-choice survey provides an ideal introduction to politics and the ‘make your case’ section of the survey caters for those with a deeper interest in economics.