Six Massive Reasons The UK Budget Is Balls For Young Women Like You
The Debrief: We looked at the budget to find out what’s in it (or not in it) for you…
We sat through Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne's Emergency Budget speech so you don't have to. We discovered a few things. During the boring droning, we realised that it's a pretty neat tactic to put women around whoever's speaking as they're being filmed, to make it look like there's a semblance of equality in the Commons (the camera focused on George Osborne, who had three men around him and five women, which kind of misrepresents the fact that 80% of Conservative MPs are men, right?).
But that sort of thing has to be by-the-by as we've also seen what the budget's going to do to young people. Brace yourselves...
1. No more student maintenance grants
At the moment, students from families where the income is £25,000 or less are given a sum of £3,387 a year, which is there to help look after them while they study.
This will be scrapped. Instead, there will be loans, meaning that the average graduate who takes out these loans (set at £8,200 a year max) on top of tuition loans will, at the end of their degree, be £51,600. In debt.
This is all because, as George Osborne says there was a ‘basic unfairness in asking taxpayers to fund grants for people who are likely to earn a lot more than them.’, which assumes that graduates earn truckloads of money upon leaving uni. If you or anyone you know is an arts or humanities graduate, you’ll know that just isn’t the case.
2. No more housing benefit for 18-21 year olds
Think of all the reasons a young person might not be able to live at home; homophobic, abusive, alcoholic, drug-addicted parents. Or simply not enough rooms in the family house as younger siblings get older. Anyway, unless they’re classified as ‘vulnerable’ – the definition of this is crucial and yet to be seen – they won’t be given housing benefit.
3. A Living Wage…but only for those over 25
The new national living wage will be there to ensure employers are paying people what they need to get by, instead of what's just legally allowed. But this 'living' wage won't affect all working, living people, because it will only be available to those over 25. It will start at £7.20 per hour and rise to £9 per hour…by 2020.
4. The actual balls protest
People are protesting all of the above – and much more e.g. families not being allowed benefits for any more than two children – by launching balls at 10 Downing Street. The protestors launched all sorts of inflatable balls over the gates outside David Cameron’s Prime Ministerial abode, and bore a banner reading ‘£ballstothebudget’.
Meanwhile, #EndAusterityNow, a movement which had 75,000-100,000 protestors at a demonstration late last month, have scheduled a protest today where people will ‘die-in’ where everyone will lie on the ground as if they’re dead. This is to highlight the fact that George Osborne: ‘is refusing to release the figures that show the number of people who have committed suicide after having their benefits sanctioned.’
5. The plus side #1
The first £11,000 you make each year will be exempt from tax from 2016-2017 (starting next April). It means that, if you earn the UK’s average salary (£26,500) you might be taxed £3,180 a year at the moment. That’ll go down to £3,100. So you’ll save £80 a year. That’s £6.67 a month.
6. The plus side #2
George Osborne has said the government will put £3.2 million of extra funding towards domestic abuse services. Considering the government spent £3 million on biscuits in 2011-2012 and £6 million on faulty earplugs in 2013-2014, you'd kind of think they'd dedicate a little bit more to a problem that sees two women a week killed.
Sandra Horley, chief executive of Refuge, said: 'Whilst the new funding is welcome news, this money is only a stop-gap and a more long-term, sustainable funding solution is urgently needed.'
Oh, and for young people who now can’t go to university, the government will invest in 1 million apprenticeships.
See…every big massive looming grey cloud bulging at the seams with acrid rain…
If you really want a lol? ‘George Osbourne’ is trending on Twitter, even though his name is ‘George Osborne’. Maybe a little hint that the Government should spend a little more on education?
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