Yesterday, I found myself in a rather unusual position…I found myself applauding the Conservatives.
Now, this is not usually a position I adopt. I certainly never agree with the ruling party, that’s for sure. But as a low earning, “thirsty” , 20-something with no children, no desire to buy or sell property, and no comprehension of retirement I would. I have to admit, it’s a budget aimed at me.
The problem I see is that I am rather odd. Aside from the obvious personality reference, my situation is peculiar. I am not unemployed, but a youth. I pay tax, but only a little. I have absolutely no financial, emotional or social ties to speak of (aside from a growing menagerie of animals), and yet I am relatively stable. A good pal of mine is the same age as me, we went to the same university, we live two streets apart from each other here in Bristol, we both have two degrees but the big difference is, he is still unemployed. When I say “still” I mean, actually not yet found a job since doing his Masters. Considering he graduated in 2011, that’s a worrying trend. Yet nothing in yesterday’s budget is going to help my pal get what he really wants…a job. If he had bypassed university he would probably have worked his way up some impressive well known company and be in charge of 100s of people…or at least something like stationary.
So my fellow non-grown ups are still suffering. The proper grown-ups, the ones with children and property and cars that bring with it responsibility are likely to be drastically worse off. They will be expected to continue to fight off the constant worry of being placed “at risk of redundancy”, ensuring that they never drive anywhere as their car is apparently fuelled on liquid gold, and also hoping that they or their family never get ill should the NHS reforms come in. On top of this, the HMRC will now be able to hunt them down for the tax that they are willing to pay, but are too confused to do so due to the constant pendulum of changes that occurs in the British tax system. At least by 2014 they will be able to see how other people are spending their hard earned money…
Oh well, at least they can look forward to retirement… Even though we’re not quite sure what the age will be, probably 90 or something by then; we also don’t know if the state pension will exist, or if the complicated layers of tax system will end up meaning that pensioners actually have to pay the government for staying alive.
So as long as you’re a fake grown up that’s playing to be a grown up with no possessions or relationships of any real value, it’s been a good budget. With that depressing thought, I’m off to the pub…