Guardian Pass Notes – Generation Y: the demographic the budget forgot

My first Pass notes for the Guardian was about how Generation Y were left almost entirely out of the budget. Read it and weep.
Same old stuff: George Osborne with his budget case outside No 11.

Same old stuff: George Osborne with his budget case of broken dreams and orphans’ tears. Photograph: Suzanne Plunkett

Age: Newborn.

Appearance: A red box of broken dreams and orphans’ tears.

Oh dear, I’m not going to like this, am I? Well, it depends – are you a pensioner?

No. Do you have a job?

I’m applying for lots of them. Do you have thousands of pounds in savings?

Course I bloody don’t. Then no, you’re not going to like it.

Ugh. Lay it on me. It’s a budget “for savers”, and people with savings tend to be old people. In fact, scratch that – given that times are hard all round, people with savings tend to be rich old people.

I’m amazed a Tory chancellor would only cater to the old and rich. Indeed. This budget is an absolute dream for pensioners.

The ones who vote? Yes.

I’m pleased for them. Is there anything in the budget for young people? Yes! George mentioned young people in his speech, um, once. He claimed to have doubled the number of apprenticeships, and promised to “extend grants for smaller businesses to support over 100,000 more”.

Oh, that will help! How many unemployed young people are there again? More than 900,000.

What?! I thought unemployment had fallen? It has, but the numbers are a bit misleading. There’s been a dramatic rise in self-employment, as all those go-getters take matters into their own hands. But the number of employees has dropped by 60,000 – and there are 38,000 fewer young people in work now compared with a year ago.

Still … it’s nice for the old people. Very nice indeed – analysts are saying that changes to pension rules could lead to a massive surge in the purchasing of buy-to-lets, and guess who they’ll be renting them out to, for ever?

Us? Yep. For ever and ever.

So young people aren’t exactly a massive priority? Doesn’t look like it. A quick search in the budget reveals the word “young” is mentioned three times, whereas the word “pension” is mentioned 151 times.

I’m sad now. Don’t worry – they’re also cutting tax on alcohol.

Do say: “Cheaper beer and apprenticeships? Things are looking up!”

Don’t say: “Do a search on the words ‘heartless’ and ‘bastards’.”

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