Vicky Spratt | Deputy Editor | Friday, 18 March 2016

Here\\\'s What Young Women Really Think About George Osborne\\\'s Budget \\\'For The Next Generation\\\'

Here's What Young Women Really Think About George Osborne's Budget 'For The Next Generation'

The Debrief: The Chancellors Budget was sold as a budget for the ‘next generation’ but have the current generation of young people trying to make it work been overlooked? The Debrief spoke to young women around the country.

This week the Chancellor delivered his annual Budget to the country and marketed it as a Budget ‘which puts the next generation first. Many people referred to it as a ‘bittersweet’ budget in which further cuts were announced alongside a tax on sugary drinks, extra maths in schools and a life time Isa for millennials who, according to the Chancellor, ‘aren’t saving enough. It might have been sold as a 'budget for the next generation’ but have the current generation of young people coming into adulthood and trying to make it work been overlooked?

The Debrief looked into how the Budget actually added up for young women and collected responses to it from young women around the country.

Kerry Leung Sykes, 26, is from London and works as a part-time trainee at the Young Women's Trust

The Debrief - The Chancellor repeated that this was a 'budget for the next generation'- do you agree?

‘I think this is too much of a bold statement and what about the generations now. But yes the focus was on future generations to come. As the budget focused a lot on schools and children. I feel like the Conservatives focus on the next generation and forget about those of us living in the here and now.’ ‘Most of his announcements won't have a direct impact on me, I don't have any children and I don't own a business. So most of what was said was irrelevant to me at the moment. When I do have children all the changes in regards to education will impact me and my child.  But I'm not thinking that far ahead at the moment.’‘The chancellor could have announced more plans to help young women and young people financially. He made mention of the apprenticeship levy but what happens for those that don't want to do an apprenticeship?’‘There was nothing in regards to housing or travel or financial help which is what would support the now generation, I don't think this was a budget for all. Yes, the future generations are important, but what about those of us trying to better ourselves now - where is our budget?’ 

The Debrief - The Government also increased the threshold for paying higher rates of tax, meaning you now have to earn more than £40,000 before you start paying the higher rate. What do you think about this?


Kerri – ‘For most young women earning £40,000 annually is but a dream and most of the population, will be earning less than £40,000. The government have finally realised that those on a lower wage can't afford, to pay a higher tax rate hence the reason they have increased the threshold.’

The Debrief – ‘The Chancellor announced a new ‘Lifetime ISA’ which will allow under 40s to save up to £4,000 per year. Do you think this would be useful scheme for you?’

Kerri - When I'm earning more yes I think I this would be and it would be something, which I hope to invest in.

The Debrief – How much do you think you would be able to save each month realistically?

Kerri – ‘Currently not a lot if anything at all, but if I secure a full time job then I hope to start saving properly, at least £25 a month.’ 

The Debrief - The Chancellor said in his speech that ‘young people aren’t saving enough’ surely it’s not that they aren’t but more that they can’t save enough? What do you think?

Kerri – ‘Many young people want to save and would save if their circumstances allowed them too. We know young people especially young women may have caring responsibilities coupled with low pay. The reality is we can just about sustain ourselves until the end of the month. We have aspirations to save for our futures a house/ rent, pension, potential children.’

‘But most of us are just not able to hence why I would have liked something in the budget to help young people financially.’

‘I also think we need to really be taught the importance of saving right from primary school. I personally didn't understand the importance of saving when I was younger, and if I did I would have had a substantial amount saved up. But there is so much temptation around us it's sometimes hard to save and not spend. But I do think if there were some lessons around managing money and saving, coupled with more job opportunities that pay better and then maybe we would be able to save.’

Laura Davies, 25 from Bournemouth, lives with her partner in Bournemouth, works part time and has a son.

The Debrief - The Chancellor repeated that this was a ‘budget for the next generation’- do you agree?

Laura – ‘On the surface it looked like a promising budget. But in all honesty I don't feel like this budget was for the next generation at all. Everything set out in the budget aimed at the next generation was unrealistic and out of reach for most young women I know. The Chancellor needed to look at issues that young women face such as low pay in zero hour contracts, private rented housing that isn't regulated, childcare and fixed employment before he starts thinking about things such as savings schemes and other government initiatives.’

The Debrief - The Government also increased the threshold for paying higher rates of tax. What do you think about this?

Laura – ‘I don't see myself ever earning £40k and if I did I would be more than happy to pay a higher tax band to ensure those on a low wage are helped. I think in a budget where the Chancellor took from disability benefit recipients and gave to high earners it shouldn't have happened and it shouldn't be welcomed.’ 

The Debrief – The Chancellor announced a new ‘Lifetime ISA’ which will allow under 40s to save up to £4,000 per year. Do you think this would be useful scheme for you?

Laura – ‘As with everything the Government have introduced it seems like a good scheme on the surface. Until you realise that at the end of the month you don't have any money to put in a scheme anyway. I like the idea of the scheme but some parts just don't work for me. Me and my partner live month to month and to put into an ISA would mean we wouldn't be able to dip in if we had any emergencies we needed to cover.’

The Debrief - How much do you think you would be able to save each month, realistically?

Laura – ‘Honestly nothing. We have a savings pot at home where we throw in the odd £1 and 50p but it's dipped into more than it's saved. Being on such a low wage means we have no savings.’

The Debrief – ‘The chancellor said in his speech that ‘young people aren’t saving enough’ surely it’s not that they aren’t but more that they can’t save enough? What do you think?’

Laura – ‘Young people are stuck in a vicious cycle of high rents, low wages and not much opportunity for career progression to help themselves out of the cycle. They aren't saving enough because there isn't any money left at the end to save. In an ideal world young people would have savings, a job and a home but young people are always at the bottom of the list of people the Government want to help so I don't see that changing any time soon.’

Sophie Kathirgamanathan, 27 from Watford is a married mother of two who works as a clinical trials researcher

The Debrief - The Chancellor repeated that this was a 'budget for the next generation'- do you agree?

Sophie – ‘I don't agree that this was a budget for the next generation. What about the current generation of young people struggling to make ends meet?’‘As a young mother I am concerned about how some of the recent changes which affect young parents who want to lay a strong foundation for the future for their families but will be unable to. This generation will be bringing up the next generation hence if the government fail us then they fail the next generation.'

‘Tackling the housing crisis would be one of my top priorities. We need more affordable housing yet there was little mention of this in the Budget. Similarly, I would like to see more measures which would support young mothers on a low income who would like to go to university or go to work so that they can improve their lives and their children's.’

‘As it currently stands, if I was a young mother who was under 21 years of age, with a young child living in social housing who wanted to go University, there would be so many factors which would make this near impossible.  I would be leaving university with approximately £40000 in debts plus loans, have no money to cover travel and books, be unable to cover childcare costs and would probably end up homeless because the rent is too high and with no income, as well as not being able to qualify for housing benefit. I would have liked to see a Budget which addressed all these issues.’

The Debrief – The Chancellor announced a new ‘Lifetime ISA’ which will allow under 40s to save up to £4,000 per year. Do you think this would be useful scheme for you?

Sophie – ‘Young people, cannot even think about savings and pensions because we are too busy figuring out how to survive especially with the rising cost of living. I'm 27 and in a well paid job yet I have to choose which bills to pay, let alone think about savings. Introducing a new lifetime ISA will do little for the majority of young people who do not have savings. I have stopped my pension contribution because otherwise I couldn't to feed my family or go to work. I'm just on the borderline of being working poor.’

The interviews for this article were collected with help from The Young Women's Trust, a charity which supports and represents women aged 16-30 across England and Wales.

You might also be interested in:

How Does George Osborne's 'Next Generation' Budget Actually Add Up For Millennials?

Is This The End Of The Tampon Tax?

5 New Milestones Which Millennials Can Feel Good About

Follow Vicky on Twitter @Victoria_Spratt

Follow The Young Women's Trust on Twitter @YWTrust 

Tags: Politics, Money worries