Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/455/5557
The 'IPOD generation' - worse off
INSECURE, PRESSURED, Overtaxed and Debt-ridden - a new report says this is what the term 'IPOD generation' really means. The report, by right-wing think-tank Reform, says "young people's earnings are rising less than any other age group; young people are most likely to be in debt; [and] house prices have continued to rise beyond the range of young people's earnings."
There was a 288% rise in bankruptcy of 18-29 year olds between 2001-2005. First-time property prices are eight times higher than median earnings for 22- 29 year olds, leading to 47.5% of 20-24 year olds still living at home.
Universities are increasingly pricing young people from working-class backgrounds out of the chance to go. For young people that do make it, the report says 'graduate starting salaries have fallen to £13,860, this year, down from £14,090 in 2005'. They calculate that, with repayments on debt incurred at university, graduates will effectively pay 47.6% tax, halving the starting salaries to around a measly £8,500.
The report says "people under 35 in the UK could be described as a crossover generation who are paying the cost of the welfare state without being able to expect many of the benefits." Of course, this doesn't just affect young people. But this is the future offered to many young people by New Labour's destruction of welfare provisions.
And the Tories and Liberal Democrats only 'solution' of tax reforms won't solve the problems of under-funded education, healthcare and other essential provisions.
We need a new party that stands up for young people and workers, based on opposition to these attacks on our conditions.
In The Socialist 21 September 2006:
War and occupation
Socialist Party NHS campaign
Youth and Education
Socialist Party workplace news
International socialist news and analysis