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How will today’s Budget affect young people?

22 November 2017

Here’s what some of our students had to say on the matter

The Budget will be unveiled today - Chancellor Philip Hammond is wielding his red suitcase once more to set out his plans. He outlined his first budget in March, which included plans to cut borrowing, increase money spent on social care, and increasing National Insurance payments for the self-employed. He’s expected to attempt to win over young voters this time – so will we have a budget that puts young people first?  
 
Here’s what our students, Shivangi Agrawal, who is pursuing a masters in Economics, Finance and ManagementCallum Tempest, a first-year Economics student and Jacob Sowter, President of the University of Bristol EFM Society, have told us matters to them.  
 
What do you think the biggest worries are for young people today?  

SA: The biggest worries for young people today is unemployment. There are not a lot of opportunities for everybody and the ones that exist, are demanding and competitive but don’t provide fair salaries to take care of basic necessities. Secondly, not having enough training programs to develop skills required to succeed at a specific job. We need a platform to guide us. Plus, the fear of being replaced by artificial intelligence is quite real for us all.  
 
CT: The cost of university education is of great concern to young people today. Beginning life with such a colossal burden is far from ideal, and its impacts are wider reaching, inspiring further worry about affording a house and saving for retirement. Finding a job and career which is rewarding is also a consideration that causes distress, exacerbated by thoughts on the ultimate impact of automation and other technological improvements on the labour market. 

What would you like to see addressed in the Budget (as there will be many things to occupy the Chancellor’s mind)?  

SA: Ways in which we can stand out in the constantly demanding and changing economy. Skills we must possess to bring a change.  
 
JS: Housing needs to be addressed, both in and out of London. I think a lot of students want to move to London because of jobs, and can’t see the attraction of elsewhere. If housing was cheap and accessible in other cities and towns, perhaps more students would be attracted to jobs outside of London.  

A bold expansion of travel links would also be very welcome. Again, it seems that a lot of money goes into improving London’s travel links but not as much goes to improve the ageing railways [throughout the] country. It would help redistribute jobs and wealth and ensure that the economy is not over-reliant on London as a powerhouse of the UK. 

And what kinds of solutions do you think the Chancellor should take to heart when thinking about the younger demographic?   

JS: The whole Conservative party need to learn how to connect with 18-25 year olds. I don’t believe it needs to copy the Labour Party (eg ‘#Grime4Corbyn’) but rather show itself as a party who is working to address issues for students and young professionals, such as student debt, getting onto the property market and job stability. Providing a positive, merit-based platform would attract students and young people more than a negative anti-Corbyn platform. 

SA: Creating more job opportunities for international students. We deserve an equal chance to be employed here, and it’s more difficult for us.  

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