Tough times for young people

Government cuts are affecting everyone and Rebecca Rutt looks at why she thinks young people are being hit the hardest.

Life is pretty awful for young people right now. We're being battered by government cuts and one in five 16-24-year olds is out of work. 

I was lucky enough to get a job out of university but I've still got a mountain of debt that will take over 20 years to repay. So how am I also supposed to save for a housing deposit, start a pension pot and have a life?

But it's teenagers today who have inherited this massive debt that I feel really sorry for. With rising university fees and a lack of jobs, the future looks very bleak.

I know some things are a lot better today than 50 years ago but I still think the baby boomers are the lucky ones. Free university, easy-access mortgages and good pensions.

A study by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research shows that people over 65 have received £220,000 more in benefits and services than they have paid in taxes.

But those born today will pay £70,000 more in taxes in their lifetime than they will get back.

The government says it needs growth to repair the economy but it's ignoring the people who are going to drive this recovery.

In 20 years we'll be running the country so we need support now. We're being let down by our country and if the cuts continue we'll have another crisis on our hands.

Your Comments

Easy access mortgages ? For my first mortgage I had to save, borrow from parents and in-laws, and pay £35 a month out of my teaching pay of £100 to125 after tax. I could not invent my own figures to get a loan. Even then, I had to wait for the allocation of funds. That was in 1976 !

Inevitably, Rebecca has little appreciation of some of the realities of life for the "Baby Boomers".
Life was pretty awful for we folks born during or just after the war : she can have no appreciation of war conditions, rationing or real poverty.
Our generation were brought up to be thrifty,spend only what we had and not live on vast amounts of credit like later generations have been stupid enough to do.........and her generation are now paying the price for that, sadly.
Many boomers took few holidays when younger and gave priority to raising their children, only now, in later years, enjoying more holidays and hobbies, and many giving much support to their children and grandchildren, also.
So, Rebecca, if you see us having a well funded and happy retirement ..........we have damn well earned it.
However, some of your gripes are well founded.........we could get mortgages but we had to prove our income was sufficient to repay them......unlike in more recent times when banks were stupid enough to give ridiculous sums to people daft enough to take on more debt than they could afford to repay : result - housing market boom and bust.
Pensions - yes, many of us were lucky to have good pension schemes but we have worked for and paid into them over many years. You can still save and invest for as many boomers did......give priority to savings and investments rather than lots of holidays, flashy cars and a new mobile phone every year......thrift is a way of life, not just for a crisis.
Lastly, university..........yes we were lucky as standards were high and only those genuinely capable of the rigour got in. Sadly now we have a dumbed down system where many courses are little better than old diploma courses. So, we have universities charging hefty fees for poor courses, some of which could be completed in two years at a lower cost. Education for all is good but "one size fits all" is not. Not all students need genuine degree courses, many would be better with a lesser diploma or practical qualification at lower costs.
On all these issues, our politicians have not served us well........all those years of Blair and Brown left us with many problems.
Sadly, Rebecca, the younger generation do have many problems to face and the job situation is a real issue, as is affordable housing. Every generation has had such problems but much is better now than in the past so like those before you, get stuck in and get on with your life.

What self-indulgent nonsense. Rebecca complains that the youth are suffering because of the cuts. I ask why is she and far too many others dependent on government programs to get on with their lives in the first place? No, the youth are suffering because they're selfish. That's right, I said it. What makes Rebecca and so many like her think they are entitled to anything? To all you young people: You are NOT entitled to a job. You are NOT entitled to a house. You are NOT entitled to someone else paying for YOUR education. These all must be earned. It's YOUR life. Take control of it. Ostensibly Rebecca earned her job. She wasn't "lucky".

There is a prevailing mentality that the money we actually earn should only be used for gadgets, holidays and booze, whilst someone else should pay for the essentials of life. Where does Rebecca think the money for all these programs comes from anyway? There isn't a magical money tree. Education was never "free". Someone had to pay for it. Nothing is ever free. The left love to talk about sustainability. Well, socialism is unsustainable. If you took all the wealth from everyone you'd be able to fund the country for about a year. And then what? There would be nothing left for year two. She proves the point when she said that those born today will pay more into the system than they'll get out of it, but she is too blind to recognize that's precisely the problem with socialism. Margaret Thatcher was absolutely correct. The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money.

The government cannot create jobs and prosperity. Economic growth is the only path to a better future for all, and the way that's done is with pro-growth policies like lower taxes and fewer onerous regulations. Everyone needs to be accountable for their own lives and not leech off another.

Here's a novel idea for Rebecca and the youth of the UK. How about renting for several years before buying a house? How about working part time to pay for your education? How about working two jobs if necessary to purchase the things you want? You can only truly rely on yourself and possibly your family, friends and neighbors. If you're waiting for the crumbs the government provides you're going to starve.

Oh dear Rebecca I think you have opened a can of worms... It's not your fault if she has been bought up and lived in an environment that has taught you many suspect values. The idea that it's OK to live in continuous debt (i.e. monthly overdraft) was not idea or the idea that because you have degree you will automatically get a job. I and my wife together have lost over £100k either through the drop in investment value or the extension of retirement age. We actually felt that we had worked hard for that money but now it is unlikely we will ever get it back in our lifetime. I only ever moved house once in 30 years; I never had to get divorced; I had 3 children who I saw as being my responsibility to care for. I feel resentful towards those people who have greedily (and been encouraged to) borrowed, borrowed and borrowed again and I actually feel that I and my wife are paying for their profligacy. These people are not teenagers but many are the 30's and 40 year olds whose children are now totally confused about the meaning of the value for money.
I wish you well Rebecca

Rebecca, your gripe about baby-boomers is utter nonsense! Out of common courtesy to your readers/consumer if nothing else, you should have given more thought to your piece.

As a "privileged" baby boomer, I went on my first ever holiday at the tender young age of 31 and it was to Brighton. In our 20s-30s we were focused on laying down good foundation for ourselves and our families; we were not frivolous and did not expect privileges to have been bestowed on us by the society.

At the age of 36-yrs, I pounded the high streets and was refused mortgage by many banks/building societies for no other reason than the fact that I am a female.

The current economic conditions are tough on many and the once suffering the most are the vulnerable (i.e. elderly in their 70s & 80s; children and those with disabilities and chronic/critical illness). Your piece is affront to them!

By the way – I don’t see myself as “vulnerable”.

What about those people who retired just a few years ago, particularly those without the requisite number of years contributions for a full pension?

The number of qualifying years was reduced in 2010, but not for those already retired. A flat rate pension is promised for all - except those already retired.

We paid our cotributions and saved a little extra. Income has decreased on those savings due to the low interest rates. VAT has increased. No increase in Personal Tax Allowances last year but £450 this year. That's in line with inflation. Good - except that everybody else got £1000 icrease.

Pensions now linked to CPI, not RPI. In 20 years time, when compounded, that means 20% less every year. Not just a reduction in state pension but in occupational pension as well !

Careful decisions made over a working lifetime just ruined at a stroke.

Perhaps the young are hard hit, but the recently retired pensioners are are well.

Well said.
I do agree with all the points raised.

What a load of wrong headed nonsense this article is - I was turned down for my 1st morgage in 1973 and struugled through years on 10-12% interest - suffered under pay restraint by the oppresive labour government in the 1970s.

This has incensed me - the injustice and ignorance of the attitude conveyed within the piece by Rebecca is beyond belief! I used to arrange mortgages in the seventies and can categorically state that not only did people have to join a "waiting list" for funds to become available, they also had a strict income multiplier (2.25 or 2.5 times main income and once times any second income for a couple) and could never borrow more than they could afford using this calculation. Compare this to the ridiculous sums allowed over the last 15 years - even 5 times income! No wonder people are in such a mess. It is not clever to become in debt to such an extent. Raised with thrift and value for money ingrained, I will never understand those who just buy all they want on credit (not need) and then can't pay for it! People should do without things they can't afford. Having never had holidays abroad until in our fifties - when our home was paid for - we knew we'd earned them. We helped ourselves by always doing our own diy, decorating, learned car maintenance and I made clothes and soft furnishings to get the most from our income and not waste on paying others to do anything we could do ourselves by being resourceful. It's hard work and you need to be willing to learn as the need arises, but very rewarding and saves money. Also being cautious about spending, not expecting to have everything, to fall in your lap without a lot of hard graft. We helped ourselves as best we could and worked hard for years. All the good work achieved by our generation has now been worn away by lack of discipline in schools resulting in many of the next generation so expectant of all material things that they can't concieve of the idea that they are NOT entitled have everything. I've worked in adverse situations doing work I did not enjoy but stuck with it to make sure the end-game was achieved (eg paying the bills). It's called back-bone - it's never too late to develop self reliance and common sense - then you should have a chance of success. So called baby boomers actually worked extremeley hard for what they now have!

........hmm.....really scary to find people setting themselves up as some sort of economic expert (eg UKMATT) then parrotting economic idiocy! It was precisely the emphasis on "...fewer onerous regulations" which dropped us all in this mess.

It was the absence of regulations which led to the "sub-prime" mortgage crisis in the USA.

It was the absence of regulations which let bankers conjure stonking bonuses for themselves by passing round debts in a crazy game of "pass the poisonous parcel."

Remember the Building Societies that we were told were "social," boring and "trapped by red tape." Maggie "There is no such thing as society" Thatcher encouraged members to go for the short-term cash-grab bribes when they were changed into banks. What happened after that? Oh aye, that's right. The new bank heads went bananas with gambling others' money.

The "free market" experiment has been a complete disaster. If we can't see that, we are destined to watch it all happen again.

 Well said and brilliantly put.  I agree 100%.

 In fact, every comment made on this subject is a true representation of what us 'baby boomers' had to put up with!  As a previous contributor has correctly pointed out, we were not handed a mortgage on a plate, but had to go through a very strict process of proving what our salaries were - employers were often contacted to confirm employees had given correct information regarding their salaries - and then only given a mortgage that we were able to afford when the next allocation of funds became available, which wasn't necessarily a given even at that stage!!  We were only allowed to borrow an amount that would still leave enough over from our salaries to cover the other costs of living, e.g. gas / electric / food / council tax (rates) / water rates etc   When the stupid banks starting GIVING AWAY money, that was when the rot set in.   How on earth could they lend silly amounts to customers without even checking if they could afford to pay it back, and as for 'self certification'....the mind boggles.  So no....dig a lttle deeper and fully research the subject before pointing fingers at who is to blame.  It is the lenders who have caused the problems, NOT the borrowers.  If the ethos of responsible lending (as it used to be) is pursued......say no more.  Yes, I have had a credit card almost since the time they first appeared, BUT have always paid it off in full, simply using the extended credit facility.  It's all part of budgeting.

 1. What would you have received if you had put your NI into the FTSE over 40 years, compared to the state pension. [Based on a median wage earner retiring on 26K a year]
19K a year. RPI linked, Fully joint life, from 65.
2. What do you get from the state?
5K. Oh dear - 75% of the value - gone.
CPI linked - Of the 25% left, that's 20% of it erroded over time. 
Then there is the retire at 67. That's 2 years of 19K gone, plus 2 more years of NI. Another 9K.
And they can't even afford paying out what little is left. 
So you've been screwed. 
However, don't conclude that the young are the winners because you're a loser. 
They are going to be forced to pay for your pension, and they get no services for that money. 

 When the stupid banks starting GIVING AWAY money, that was when the rot set in.  
Twaddle I'm afraid. The rot had set in way before that. Government debt? Politiicans tell you its a trillion. However there is a basic fraud there. No pensions are included. They don't owe you a penny for all those contributions. 
Government debts are the issue. All 7 trillion of them, and that doesn't include welfare, the NHS, police, schools, roads, defence, politicians salaries, ...
Taxes, 0.57 trillion. 
That's 13 times geared with massive spending commitments. They are spending 730 bn a year, on income of 570 bn. A Branson every 2 days. Take all his money, and its gone, in two days. 
There is no pot of gold in oversears banks.
There aren't enough rich people to pay it either. 
It's bust.
Hence the politicians want to blame bankers. Just like they blamed Jews, or Blacks, or ... in the past.