A New Frugal Generation?

The other day I got talking to some people I met at a seminar. Inevitably, the conversation turned to the credit crunch and one guy revealed he was writing a book about it. When I asked him the billion dollar question – when will the recession be over­ – he told me he thought it would never really end and that the effects would be felt for years to come. Then, a woman we were chatting to admitted that her son, who is 21, is unemployed and that he believes he may never get a good job or ever be in a position to own his own home.

Now, I’m not an economist and I have no idea how long this recession will last for. For what it’s worth, it seems to me that the people in the know don’t have much of a clue, either. But the thought that a young person just starting out in life has such a pessimistic view of their future really shocked me. And apparently he isn’t the only one. According to a survey by the Post Office last week, UK young people have a particularly gloomy take on the recession. 24 per cent of 18 to 24 year olds questioned said they thought it would take a decade for living standards to return to levels enjoyed before the credit crunch. A further 34 per cent think an economic recovery will take five years. Having lived through the last recession and the dotcom boom and bust, I believe that there are inevitably peaks and troughs in the economy but still have faith that things will pick up eventually. Perhaps because many young adults have never experienced life in a downturn they feel that it is somehow the end of the world.

One good thing to come out of the survey, though, was that 48 per cent of people questioned said they would change their borrowing habits because of the recession and be less likely to take on debt. If this is more than just hollow talk then I commend them. A more sensible attitude towards money is exactly what we need. Maybe we could really see the emergence of a new frugal generation which will learn from our mistakes, saving up for items they need instead of slapping it on a credit card and spending their evenings tending their home grown veg instead of glued to computer games and the telly. It’s a nice thought.

But maybe youngsters should spare a thought for the older generation. While 70 per cent of the under 24s dread unemployment, the reality, according to research by Age Concern and Help the Aged, is that it’s older workers who are being sacrificed to the credit crunch. Figures from the Office of National Statistics show that over the past 12 months the number of unemployed people aged 50 and over has jumped by nearly 50 per cent. What’s more, 28 per cent of over 50s questioned fear that their age makes them a target for employers culling staff in the recession.

Of course, losing your job is tough whatever age you might be and whatever your circumstances. Many young people have families to support. But while younger workers may find it easier to bounce back and retrain, older workers often face an uphill struggle to find a new job. What’s more, many of them may also face an impoverished retirement too now that pension funds are performing so poorly. It seems particularly ironic – and tragic – that while government think tanks tell us we’ll need to work until we’re 70 to pay back the UK’s debt mountain, the reality is it’s easier said than done. Employers often simply don’t want older workers, even if they’re experienced and willing to work.

Do you think the recession has hit older or younger workers harder? Will we see a new frugal generation emerge from the ashes of the credit crunch? Leave a message and have your say.

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67 Responses to A New Frugal Generation?

  1. Christine says:

    I remember being in my late 50s and having a discussion with a more intelligent girl on counter in job centre to the tune of would you want your mother working here (yes she\’s a good grafter with experience, she\’d work here no problem) and would you tell her what to do (certainly not, she\’d be better at the job than me anyway)? And that about sums up the situation – the younger line managers don\’t want to have to tell older staff what to do especially if the older person has more experience. So that attitude has been around for at least 10 years.If enough of the younger generation see the problems that debt causes for their family and friends, well maybe they will be less likely to run up debt. Somehow I doubt it though once they settle into a job that provides a living wage as opposed to one that means that they are for ever scraping along paying bills with nothing spare. A lot of people lived through the dotcom boom and bust without changing their spending habits so I\’m not hopeful for changes in the future.

  2. Bill says:

    Hi again, piper!I returned to this country from exile at the ripe old age of 45. I was not welcome in the Jobcentre, but felt that I had begun a new career, as an interviewee!In one firm, I was too old with one interrogation, & too young for another, all in the same week. It became equaly normal to hear that I had too much, also too little experience from two different people in the same firm, same week.After so many extremely contradicting interrogations in the first year, I decided to quit what was a completely futile effort, & signed up with an agency for half price employment, in the hope that it would lead to a full time, permanent contract. I oft sweat up to 75hrs, over a 90hr "shift", for a mere pittance, on a good day I would receive £14.50 subsistence, of which I would be expected to pay £15 – £20 for overnight parking, if trapped on M-way services by idiotic legislation. Never any sign of a first home, even less chance of a second one. No jaccuzi, not even a duck house. I oft used to dream of clean socks, or at least a clean dry towel.My mistake.After five years spasmodic "Free-Lance" with the agencies, the home office forced me to quit employment completely, at the ripe old age of 50. I was already destitute, & after dozens of appeals etc., it appears that I will remain destitute for the remains of my life. I am now 59, & at the end of this month will be "celebrating/commiserating" 9 years as a complete waste of space, & I am slowly losing the will to fight for the Right to Self-Sustenance/Sufficiency by honest toil.In the year to this April my tax level was £6,035, of which I only received £3,000 in Benefit, much less a burden than the average civil servant/politician. Even the monarchy only received £36,000,000 Benefit last year. In 8 years I have not lifted a finger to any form of honest toil, after serving 6 months custodial for paying income-tax/insurance "illegaly" (against home office wishes).No, I am not an "illegal" alien from Jupiter, or even a misguided Asian, African or S. American. Regretably, I am just as British as Gordon Brown, & even more so English. The monarchy are in fact Germanic. HRH HM Prince Phillip, both his entire prodigy, as also his brother, HRH HM Prince Wilhelm v. Hanover, are obviously all German by birth, & therefore the familly are the most expensive (im)migrants to UK.I only ask for the most basic Human/Civil Right, the Right to honest toil. I would be willing to work at least 48 hrs for a salary of only £12,000/a., complete with free use of a hot shower, as oft as necessary. I would send the income tax/insurance demand to the queen, as I would expect my salary to be mine, I would certainly not wish to share it with such a foul civil service/politicians. They already have my vote, of "no confidence".The agencies do not pay redundancy, statutory or bank holidays, Sunday, overtime or night shift bonus. Every last minute is bare basic minimum, oft less than half the basic hourly pay of those employed direct in the same firm, same job.Yes, I would do it again, strictly cash in hand, strictly direct, no more agencies. If the civil service want their cut, they would have to come & collect, complete with a warrant.I wish I could be proud of my "nationality", the "Freedom & Peace" that my own parents fought for, back in the `30\’s & `40\’s. Sadly, the modern British Fascist is far worse than the Third Reich. It is simply a matter of time until a new bloodbath errupts, this time it will not errupt on the Plains of Central Europe, they have learnt their lesson, & would never allow the Fascist to regain any real power again in their country. Obviously, it is a lesson the modern Briton still yet needs to learn.

  3. Storm says:

    I don\’t know any young people who expect or hope to own a home, and I know a lot of young people! I don\’t know too many older people who expect to be able to retire with a reasonable income. I will certainly have to work until it kills me, like most other people. Perhaps the people who borrow on the never-never have the right idea after all. It doesn\’t seem to help if you avoid debt. Securing and retaining employment is difficult for everybody at the moment. Maybe we need to question the whole thrust of human society, particularly with regard to globalisation. How can we sustain growth indefinitely? Why would this be desirable?

  4. Dot says:

    An update – !! Now employed after almost 7 months out of work and on JSA Plan was to downsize and move to another area to start job. I was informed I was due £100 back to work bonus – NOPE I am not apparently as there was 1 day when I didn\’t sign on as I was at an interview and had to re-schedule my sign-on day, therefore my time on JSA isnt running without a break!!! I have put in an appeal. I visitd the DWP website re a loan to help with moving costs,deposit and 1st months rent – Aha I find people on low incomes can apply for a Loan from the Social Fund to cover the cost – I applied for an amount to cover this. Explaining I needed to move to start work. I was refused point blank as I was not in receipt of JSA or Income Support. I have appealed against this also. I am working long hours on low pay as I didnt want to be out of work any longer nor indeed in the first place and sleeping on a friends sofa whos nearer to my workplace. Am over 45 by the way. SO if you expect help to get you back to work,find work or to settle into the newly found job after months of deprived living on JSA – be prepared for a shock – The DWP website information and the Job Centre information is just a load of rubbish.

  5. Christine says:

    Oh come on D – you expected help from the Job Centre? Be surprised that they managed to pay you the peanuts that passes for income for those 7 months. I remember waiting three months for money once. That certainly teaches you to be very frugal. And yes there are a lot of people taking lower wages rather than not work at all. This causes you to be more frugal than you would otherwise have been – but it\’s not exactly a life style choice is it? Rather a needs must life style.

  6. Dot says:

    Yes Christine needs must – the employer wins in these cases, but it still beats JSA and despair, the suns shining and I am near the beach – there\’s alot worse off than me.But I will be persuing my claims – perhaps I should be asking for a loan for a Duck Island instead?

  7. Bill says:

    Hi there, D!I face a DWP tribunal again in two weeks, on the very same day/time that I have to face the mags again regarding my home office employment permit.The tribunal will refuse me full disability again, as they did 02/06/08. They did reinstate full incapacity, against my will, without any form of sick note. I do not want the extra crumb of sausage, but would much prefer a return to useful employment. The stupid civil servant from the local council Welfare Rights is behind this equally stupid application. I only go along with it in the hope of keeping the system sweet. The entire charade is a complete waste of taxpayer\’s, as also my own time, but then I have been an extremely unwilling waste of taxpayer\’s space for the past 9 years. They all unite (collusion) in doing all possible to prevent me returning to useful employment, all at taxpayer\’s expence. At least it passes their own time, & justifies some of the expence, otherwise they begin to look like the most expensive benefit fraud/scroungers of UK, or is that the politicians?The mags refused me the Group 2 driving licence/employment permit 06/06/08, the 2 just 4 days apart. I have relaunched a new appeal over 3 months ago, & now have to show a new D4 medical certificate, not for £60/5 years, the going rate with my local GP, but at an added expence of £280, to prove that I am not & never was a junkie, & have never taken psycho medication in my life. The DVLA already have such a certificate on file from last year, but chose to ignore it then. The psycho examination is to explore my entire private/social life including that of anyone I have ever spoken to. They should not need to question me on the death of my wife, they already have her death certificate, complete with cause, they equally have the birth/death certificate of my daughter. My ability to drive a mechanised vehicle should not depend on the intimate details of my sex life, or lack of it.On 09/06/09, the mags will again refuse me my licence/employment permit, in complete defiance of Human/Civil Rights.Without "independent" income, I have no hope of a mortgage, therefore no hope of a home. I will simply remain a destitute waste of space for the rest of my life. My skills, qualifications & experience are equally a total waste of space & effort.I have been born, bred & slaughtered, just as a few kilo of second-class dog meat.In my case it is not the employers who win, but the work-shy of the civil service. Apparently, the JC uk have at least 11,000 vacancies for Transport Technicians, nationwide, & I am more than willing to relocate. Sadly I only have 35 years of experience, 12 years of that as a British squaddy, a further 12 years full time with the Red Cross, the final 2 years of that as driving school manager/instructor all classes, both Group 1, as also Group 2, the first 10 years in Germany, followed by 1 year each in Poland, as also Zagreb.

  8. Bex luvs Jack says:

    I think that younger people are hit worst as they are in education working for a better future=college and university students aswell as high school students and younger people have a more active social life e.g. going down the pub, going to the beach and on holidays as celebration of leaving highschool, college and university etc etc etc. These social outings are costly and many high school students are too young to go out and earn their own money, college students have either the last required experience and qualifications so far or will be n full time education still. This affects the way students concnetrate in their studies without relaxation and fun, they will not want to continue with learning and contribuitng positively to the world in years to come. Also, without money, no one can do anything worthwhile thats fun. I\’m a student, earning £20 from cleaning a family members house and I can;t afford anything unless I continually save my money and not spend a penny yet theres laways things I need such as college books and printing money, a few fun days out to clebrate working hard etc. However the older generations wouldn\’t be hit as bad as the younger generation because at least they already have possessed a car, a house, all their insurances, they have babies which they can provide hand me downs for etc etc etc. It would hit everyone badly and the older generation would be in for a shock but at least they have a solid income to keep on living as normally as possible.

  9. Dot says:

    Hi Bill – Good Luck – maybe you should become your local MP at least folk could have faith in you?Bex – the \’oldies\’ only have a solid income if they manage to keep hold of their jobs – and nowadays theres no guarantee they will – or find a new one

  10. Mark says:

    I think it is impossible to discriminate between either, or in the middle, this recession is hitting everyone, and i am sick to death of this counrty positivly discriminating and trying to fix problem for individual groups of people, PEOPLE need jobs, PEOPLE need income, PEOPLE need dignity and self respect.

  11. donald says:

    I have been reading the comments that you all have put in t the moment I have a job but not for long when this construction site is finished so am I and the state of the building trade is dismal. So to follow on from D I would say to Bill you should stand as independant council or parliment go on a democratic stance to mke our system more answerable to us outlaw the quango and if we need a body like this they will be elected not jobs for the boys. The conartists in Westminster have left the inocent to suffer while the people who caused this must get there bouns this is not right. So if you are unemployed stand up for us I will vote for accountable democracy

  12. Kayleigh says:

    I think that the recession is hitting everyone. I am 19 years old, working full time, as is my partner, and everything just keeps going up and up, but not our wages, so we struggle more and more. In some ways we are lucky as we have managed to keep our jobs, but I am currently looking else where, and have so far got nothing, as people would rather take on someone with more experience with me. It is the same for the older generation. People would rather take on somone younger than them, even if they have less experience because the older candidates are not going to be wanting to work for them for very long. I agree with you Mark, People need jobs in order to have a stable income and that is the same for everyone not just one group of people. Bex Ialso think that you can live without going out all the time. I have lived on my own since just after my 17th birthday. I went to college and then found a decent job that gets me by but as soon as all the bills have been paid I have nothing left to go out with, so Iend up staying at home. There really isnt any big need to go out partying all the time. The last night out that I had properly was when i finished college last year and even then I had to save for months as I had my own house to sort out first. ever since then when i go out it is for family occasions and nearly every time someone has to pay so I can have a drink, or I just don\’t drink. Even now I am working, I am still going to college on a night to get where I want to be in life and even though I do not pay for the course yself I know people that do and they are finding it hard to keep up with the payments. I read the other day that more and more people under the age of 25 are claiming benefits. Well no offence to those that are and that are putting it to good use while they are trying to find work, as I was one of these whilst at college, but most of the under 25\’s that I know can\’t actually be bothered to go out and find jobs, they just want to have their own house and have kids, but don\’t want to pay for it, so they claim and we the tax payers end up paying for them to live like that

  13. wheresmyhippo says:

    I have better academic qualifications int same subject that my dad had when he first started work. In the early 70s he easily walked into a graduate job that he has had ever since and he graduated with no debt. He retires this year on a good pension. While I don\’t begrudge my dad his success or money it does seem that people born in the late 70/early 80s have things a lot worse than our parents generation. There is no such thing as a free education or a job for life. There also seems to be no guarantee that the money we pay into our pensions will materialise when we do finish work. Where did all the money go?

  14. Pod says:

    I used to think that the sort of things they taught you in primary school were completely useless. But now as I approach 30, its those really simple lessons that are actually so important. The best example is that old maths dilema they taught you "There are 10 pineapples on the tree, Penelope take 9 pineapples. How many pineapples does that leave for Jimmy?"That really is what is going on here – if a very select few take all the money then the rest of the population is left scrabbling around the floor like mice after crumbs. 1000 people in the UK own £360 billion of the UK\’s wealth. That is approaching a fith of the entire wealth/GDP of the country tied up in the hands of a measley 1000 people. Then there will be the next 1000 people or so who whilst have a smaller chunk will still probably take out another 10th of the UK wealth. So you can see where I am headed with this. If the rich are to get richer then everyone else must get poorer – you cannot make money out of thin air unless your country produces something – we dont. I am now 29 and I\’m degree educated, debt laden because of it, and earn the same amount in real terms as my dad did at my age – which would have been considered a respectable wage before this crazy housing boom. When my mother got pregant with me my dad bought a nice 2 bed house, with room for extension, with a nice garden in the countryside on his wage alone. My mother didnt work as she looked after me until I was old enough to go to school.That same house now where I grew up recently sold for 15 times my wages (it has had an extension to make it a 3 bed, but come on!). We dont have a hope in hell of being to provide for our children what our parents could for us. I have also recently discovered I am pregnant and now myself and partner are stressed beyond belief and having to seriously consider our "options" as without both our constant incomes we cannot afford the rent and bills on our house – which is a 2 bed terrace in what is essentially an inner city slum (And no we dont buy fancy clothes, designer goods or anything of the sort).Many of my friends of my age, feel that the UK has basically taken a massive dump on our generation and future generations. So while the baby boomers where swigging champagne and celebrating their "fantasy" profits in false equity, selling out all our resources and industry to anyone that could make them a quick short term buck, they sentenced future generations to debt, poverty, and a future devoid of aspirations and hope.They say you reap what you sow, and I think the UK will heavily pay the price for its decadent greed in years to come.

  15. Sarah says:

    My grandma and grandad are 70 and retired. They have had three holidays in the past year including India and Egypt and are planning another one now. They have a nice flat and enough to get by.My comparison I was made redundant in January and have still not managed to find a job. My partner was a temp for an agency for two years and was let go in December. We are both not able to find jobs despite applying for every job we can find, including agency work! I am 21 and he is 22 and we have no prospect of owning our own house, car or affording to have kids. Never mind holidays or going on nights out, we can\’t afford food on the measly jobseekers we get. I begin university in September which hopefully will help me to find a better job after university but which will also land me in 15,000 worth of debt. So I have to say that in my opinion it is us younger people who lose out. I know every situation is different but in my opinion

  16. Unknown says:

    i\’m 48 i have been connned by banks (endowement)my pension has disappeared my work mates redundant friday to be replaced by agency my local swim bulldozed .sports centre closed i\’ll be voting bnp/ukip never again labour/tory/libs because it,s all down to their greed and i,m alright jack

  17. Mike says:

    im not racist but i think people should all pull together and vote for bnp or ukip. the amount of foreigners here is a problem and lets have british people doing jobs in britain then support the foreginers if there is room left. gotta look after british people thats first priority.

  18. Adam Whittaker says:

    Yeah, okay Mike. When a person says \’I\’m not racist but\’ then you guarantee they are a racist. Protectionism destroys nations. Xenophobia destroys nations. Isolationism destroys nations. If you don\’t believe me look up some history.You are a racist, and you\’re a dumb one too if you think that the economy stands and falls on issues such as immigrant labour.

  19. london says:

    dont vote for BNPvote liberal democrat the only party that puts country first then its own pocket

  20. James says:

    Simple answer for the government to slowly get rid of the economic crises we find outselves in. However, they WILL NOT implement anything of the such. Increase minimum wage! £10 an hour should get the ball rolling. With the millionpound profits these companies make, i\’d say a good 90% of them can afford this. The 10% of the small business that may struggle, the government can give them the £4 odd difference it would to employ the person. Keep the VAT at 15%! Do not increase it to 18.5% as they wish to do in the near future. Then, with everyone (not just the well off) having much more money in their pockets – more money will be spent thus slowly getting us out of the recession. In the coming Euro Elections – don\’t vote labour etc etc! Vote No2Euro Yes2Democracy. Half the troubles with the recession is that many laws have been implemented through Europe and not through the UK. No one should vote BNP! If they believe in the tripe that the BNP push out then they should vote for UkIP and not BNP. They have a "similar" ideaology however BNP do it racially. INCREASE MINIMUM WAGE! Best way outta the recession :o) James

  21. James says:

    Oh and good read again Bill! Keep up the good work! Just to point out on the argument of minimum wage! The minimum wage is now so low, someone who is unemployed in many instances would be better off not working than actually getting a job! (i.e. by the time their housing benefits, council benefits, bill benefits etc etc have been taking away, the wage they get will NOT be higher than all these benefits – so INCREASE minimum wage!!!) Where is the incentive? There is none for many of these people! James

  22. James says:

    Oh, and Adam Whittaker – I\’m not condonning what Mike Webb is stating here – but please. How can you state someone being a racist just for having the word "but" in thier comments. Im not racist one bit. However (note im not using the word "but") I do believe that something needs to be done in order for this country to get back its Greatness. A higher population is not helping in the slightest. Im not against people in peril moving here in the slightest. What I am against is "illegal" imigrants managing to claim assylum whilst other "genuine" people who need to stay here most gets sent packing. The reason why we let so many other people in this country in the first place is because we live in a diverse country where Diversity is a great thing! However, maybe other countries with more room should open thier gates a little bit more! As unfortunately we are not as big as many other countries (i.e. Austrailia) that have simply closed thier doors on the most needy of people. James

  23. Unknown says:

    i,m with adam as most imigrants expect something for nothing as the polish cost the nhs ten million a year in abortions, and why pay child benifit to someone who has never lived in england we need to tighten our borders just like ozz and why feel sorry for imigrants coming in just to be terrorist we can not keep supporting every one when were trillions in debt not even hitler managed this

  24. Unknown says:

    lib dems are as bad as labour and tory they are in charge in bristol closing every thing unless it,s a gipsie site no thanks at least bnp are passionate about their country

  25. donald says:

    In reply to Adam you want to have a real look at our nearest neighbour France I lived and worked there for nearly six years. The illegals who come here camp on this soil waiting for the first chance to come here dont you ask your self why. France is a good country with a very good health system yet they dont want to stay why? because they have to join the French club not move in and take it over. I they dont start contributing to the French system with in an agreed time they are kicked out, we need to look at what other countries are doing and adopt the same ideas in order to stop the abuse of our system. But the major hurdle for us is the fact that the crowd running Westminister are stealing off of us.

  26. neil says:

    The younger generation have been in a supported system where they have been led to belive that they can take now and not have to worry about later. They have no real time perspective of lifes responsibilities which is a failing of society in general. You also have to take into account the state of our social system before the recession. We have a nation full of well qualified people who can not really do anything- in so much as everyone takes the easy option in education with all the "10 a penny" degrees and similar. Realtime skills are at a shortage and issues like this go back into the mixing pot, when you have to fight your way back out of the mess. Oh!!! …………..Plus we have the worlds most envied and abused social security system which spoltlights the UK as the place to be for every immigrant -misfit-leach-criminal and the general lazy-arse overal. So I think the bigger picture fails to get recognition along with a bunch of other failings and problems that have not been listed here.

  27. James says:

    Just to get back to the question in hand of which I haven\’t even answered yet! I really do not think either the young or the elder are being effected worse. The people effected worse are the less well off! People with little income etc etc. More needs to be done to help those people. And the first thing that could be done is an increase in minimum wage!!! James

  28. roy says:

    toaly agree with what you have said,especially about the people over 50 , i thought age discrimination was against the law,it must be the same one as the goverments expenses bill.

  29. colin says:

    well im 52 and have been unemployed for over a year now with the added handicap of angina (controlled) and a non driver so what chance do i have of ever getting a decent job very little, age discrimination does still exist and im not polish

  30. colin says:

    and no im not a racist just an patriot who loves his country and saddened by the immigration policy and so many things that have happened to this once great nation, i have many views some would say extreme like closing the channel tunnel and leaving the european community the all hate us why stay

  31. london says:

    Immigration is not the problem the problem is the government not able to keep this great country in the right trackWhat ever any one does, don’t vote BNP. There motto it about greed and race they have no view on how to restart the economy or improve your lives.I am sure most of us can run this country better then those MPs

  32. donald says:

    Any one who looks at what the people need rather than what they can scam off will make a better job of running the country. Because if you ignore what the clowns in Westminster say it is just another busines but the scam artists and con men have turned it into some thing else. We need more independant people to stand and at the moment so many are hurting and out of work they are the right people to stand as they know only to well what they are fighting for.

  33. piper says:

    The whole work and benefits system needs to be looked at. Many people just aren\’t getting the help they need. Sign our petition to raise the jobseeker\’s allowance and improve the jobcentre system. http://www.gopetition.co.uk/online/27295.html

  34. Bill says:

    Many on here blame immigration, or poverty, rascism or unemployment or even the vast army of indigenous Great British Scroungers, but you are all missing the point.Far worse than all the other problems put together, is the extremely vast army of civil service, including the monarchy, as also all politicians. They are not simply by far the worst scroungers, all living off our backs, on a permanent basis, & pointing out that this is perfectly legal, they are also responsible for the entire control/surveillance mania sweeping this country today.We have no space or privacy, no Freedom whatever, but are all under open arrest, 24/7, guilty without any form of opportunity to prove ourselves innocent.According to my understanding of international (Global) law, we are all innocent, at least until they prove us guilty, & we cannot be held under any form of arrest more than 48hrs. on mere suspicion. This means that they have only 48hrs. to gather the entire evidence & prove their case, or, drop the damn thing!They could still hold it on file, as a "cold" (dormant) case, pending better evidence.

  35. Julie says:

    I feel that most of the people miss the point that it is not our mp\’s who makes the rules it is Brussels who makes 75% of all rules and it is they that say we must let anyone in from the EU and give them work or benifits. Regarding the MP\’s that have been claiming money they too are not in the wrong if the systems allows it. Many people would claim what they could if it was within the rules however, claiming monies for mortgages that do not exist then they should have criminal proceedings taken against them. I work for a company and if I was caught being fraudulent with money I would be prosecuted and would not get a golden handshake. Maybe I am being a bit harsh but I would have all people who are on benifits and supposidly looking for a job at the job centre every day from 9 til 5 working for the community and earning their dole money, obviously they could have as much time as needed to go to job interviews etc so they could get a job but it would make sure that the people who find it easier to claim benifits than to work would soon find a job as they would have to work for dole money. This would also reduce crime as idle hands create mischief… Obviously there will be exceptions for people who are ill etc but this would stop any scroungers as it would be easier to get a job than to work for their dole money. These people could also have help with getting a job and have education within the job centre for the best way to get a job and filling in aplication forms etc.. This needs fine tuning but i hope that you get the gist..

  36. Graham says:

    Please, Please, do NOT vote for Ukip or BNP. A vote for either of these would be a complete waste of time. Ukip cannot make any difference to our membership of the EU and the BNP have as much of an idea as my goldfish regards the financial mess this country is in. I would suggest staying at home and not voting for any party, this would send the clearest message to the EU that we want out. We are all being hit equally by the recession, young and older people alike. The only thing that can make any difference to this state of affairs is a general election, the sooner the better and the opposition parties need to act on this NOW.

  37. Unknown says:

    if every one voted bnp/ukip/independent and i mean every one this would show all mp,s they are not gods not to vote is wrong many english lives have been given for this right

  38. Unknown says:

    remember this is not a general election were not talking about running the finances here but i ask the question is there anyone who could do a worse job because history says not

  39. stephen says:

    the free movment of workers across the eu states is a problem.the factory i work in 99% of the workers are polish ,and british workers have been made redundant but the polish kept on.they are good workers but no better than most brits that worked here.they are claiming allounces here and in poland.plus how meny millions of pounds is going to poland that would be spent here by british workers.its like keeping two countrys ,little wonder we are in dept.

  40. Dot says:

    Julie – you have cleary never been made redundant and been given no choice but to claim JSA – If it happens to you then YOU go work for your £60pw week Dole money honey and don\’t hold your breath re help from the JobCentre staff cos you won\’t get any, they\’re bloody clueless.

  41. Trevor says:

    What\’s the point of having a comment about this no one really listen any more, even the people in government are clueless,it\’s been like this since the old bag got in, so what\’s the point. Govenment has ran this country down to the ground for years selling of every thing and putting state companies it in the private sector and look at the mess of that, i have loss count of all the people have lost there jobs in this country since joining the EU. How about giving some support to british workers and students, NHS, etc

  42. Trevor says:

    Just one more thing , I am an ex labour voter, and haven\’t voted for any party for over thrty years, I\’m never going to vote for any party in this country , until they start putting people first.

  43. donald says:

    Trevor you should vote this is why these con artists keep geting back in the party faith full put them there in the hope of a job in one of the many unelected quangos. For the people who keep bashing the EU for all our problems if you look at the truth of the mater we are feed a lot of lies on what realy goes on over there just look at the state of the pound against the euro, this is because Westminister and the Brittish banks think the sun shines out of Washington not Brussels.

  44. Kayleigh says:

    James,I agree with you over the minimum wage. When I was at college full time and started living on my own, me and my partner were given £120 a week in benefits plus his wage. This just covered the bills. Now I am working full time for minimum wage and we are not entitled to any benefits at all, so now we have an extra &60 a month coming in but an extra £400 a month coming out. You do the math. I think that this country abuses the benefit system. It should be there for people who need at as intended but they should also have to do something themselves instead of relying on those hard working people to pay for their lifestyle, as many people I know are on benefitsbecause they can not be bothered going out to get a job. There excuse is they can\’t afford as it does pay more than working.

  45. James says:

    Hey Kayleigh. Thats exactly my point. How can anyone EXPECT people to go out and work when they are actually better off living off the state. Yes it may be wrong, but I think at least 90% of people on here would do exactly the same thing on here if they were being worse off for working. Donald, i\’m sorry to disagree with you on the European thing. But if you look at most laws in this country they are being written and passed on in Brussels. Yes our government have cocked up, but at least we have a small say in who governs our country (being the General Elections) however we do not have a say in Europe. However I do totally agree with ya on the argument of so called "donkey" voters (the ones who vote lab/cons/lib etc etc every time, regardless of whom is in the seat) as the people who are doing this are actually stopping a real "Democracy" coming into place. Maybe we need to look at proportional representation, rather than 1st past the post. James

  46. Elizabeth says:

    Before the Credit Crunch people were owning their homes and living their life on borrowed money and now they cant do that anymore – I dont ever want to own a home unless I can pay with my own cash – I think people just need to adjust to a creditless society and live off real money

  47. london says:

    I agree with most of the comments here, reduce tax, reduce immigration, increase min wage, and get a new government. Only if it was that simply – Well it is Just vote for a different government (dont vote BNP)This country should get out of EU or only allow worker from well off countries like French, Germans, Spain therefore we gain from trade with out effecting the number of people coming in, other word lets reduce the size of EU.

  48. Unknown says:

    steve were not keeping two countries more like a couple of dozen and five parliments what we know of (all on expences) we should rename this country OXFAM

  49. Unknown says:

    there are four ways to waste a vote tory, labour, lib dem and the worst not to vote .the raving looney party would great

  50. keith says:

    I am 52 years old got layed off work at the end of Feburary. I used to be in plumbing & central heating. I am now selfemployed as a handyman in a small Cornish village. Thanks to the recession i am now my own boss and loving it.Should have done it years ago. ( thanks Gordon Brown) keep up the good hammering you are giving the working classes.

  51. Trevor says:

    Keith, 🙂

  52. Angus says:

    The problem for me is the lack of knowledge about what the parties stand for this I feel is a result of poor education at schools about it and the unclear information given ot by the parties themselves! I\’m 18 a college student and today with my friends we\’re all now legal to vote so we discussed who we\’d vote for, we all had our seperate parties allegiance as you\’d expect. The problem is I doubt any of us have actully given any other parties a chance one of my friends stated "I\’m voting tories because thats what my parents do and what my family has always done" and another "I\’m voting UKIP because I\’m fed up with the amount of foregin workers in our country, also everyday we pay 40 million to be in the EU". Although we all have said who we shall vote for none of us not one!! has read or even knows whose standing for our party not once have we seen adverts or leaflets saying what, why and who we are voting for. If our so called democracy is created upon traditional voting and media hype depending on what newspaper a person reads then we\’re not really a true democracy which we preach around the world about and how good it is. Finally the worst thing is not once throughout my whole school life have I ever had a lesson to do with the voting system and I study Law at A Level and still I only know about the different consistiunties and the finer details of the system, nothing about what MP\’s actually do. I believe it should become mandatory for the candidates from each party to have an open day at colleges and sixth forms where they explain thir party and their personal views and then have a debate with the other parties. This should also be something done yearly and open for all members for the community to go to. This will open the system up. I will be voting but I admit cluelessly but a vote is better than a no vote.

  53. donald says:

    Angus you are asking the impossible MPs are on a taxpayers paid holiday some of them hardly ever turn up in in the house of commons. But you have hit the nail on the head we are like sheep when it comes to vote you would think none of us had a brain to look at the situation so we keep voting in these clowns who lie and cheat us we need urgent change to a proper democratic system outlaw the quangos replace the heads of all government departments both at local and national levels with elected personel who have to show us how our money is being spent not hide it behind the offical secrets act.

  54. Mike says:

    Well done Angus and Donald – hope for the future lies with YOU! I am 53 and will be 4th year business degree student in sept. living in ireland – left UK in 2003 because of the cheating lying institutions and found exactly the same things here!

  55. Peter says:

    The UK has its hands tied with EU legislation, UK politicians have to ask brussels for permission to do anything, including offering training. There are plenty of Jobs in the Uk, unfortunately because Gordon (I\’ll sign our soverienty away without anyone knowing) Brown we cant stop the mass migration of people coming to the UK. All yiou here is we have stopped citizens from out side the UE. Sorry but it`s the EU citizens driving down wages while putting my taxes up to pay for the one that arent working and for extra public services. Unless Gordon Brown got the nod from the EU which he wont it is illegal to stop EU citizens.When the recession falls by the wayside and things pick up call migranyts back into the UK. This is not a racist comment its common sense. Look after our selves first then anyone else afterwards.Gordon Brown wont give us a referendum because the treaty has nothing in it for us to worry about. Well thats not what the powers that be say in the rest of europe.EU Lisbon TreatyMichael Connarty, the Chairman of the parliament\’s independent European Scrutiny Committee, said: “Every provision of the Constitutional Treaty, apart from the flags, mottos and anthems, is to be found in the new Treaty. We think that they are fundamentally the same.”http://www.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/591536/brownie-no2-the-lisbon-treaty.thtml Giscard d\’Estaing, the architect of the abandoned European Constitution, has admitted that the document has been rewritten by EU leaders in a different order just to avoid the need for referendums."Looking at the content," he wrote "the result is that the institutional proposals of the constitutional treaty….are found complete in the Lisbon Treaty, only in a different order and inserted in former treaties.."He made clear that the purpose of the rewritten Treaty (now called the Lisbon Treaty) was to make people think the new version did not merit being put to the people in referendums."Above all, it is to avoid having referendums thanks to the fact that the articles are spread out and constitutional vocabulary has been removed". http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1567804/Giscard-EU-Treaty-is-the-constitution-rewritten.html Giuliano Amato, the convenor of the group, hailed the way the Lisbon Treaty was given an ‘unreadable’ new form, full of cross-references and protocols, and Jean Dehaene, one of the key participants in the Amato group, said that it was “dangerous talk to want too much transparency and clarity”. With the Lisbon treaty they can say, “It’s absolutely unreadable and the typical Brussels treaty, nothing new, no need for a referendum. The matter can then be kept in the hands of the ruling elites who will ensure it is accepted."http://www.economist.com/world/europe/displaystory.cfm?story_id=E1_JGTJDVD Germany\’s Angela Merkel lined up to boast that the new \’amending treaty\’ is the old constitution in a new form.http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-469118/EU-treaty-simply-old-constitution-reborn-says-creator-Giscard-dEstaing.html The Treaty of Lisbon is all about avoiding referendums on the Constitution, avoiding dealing with legitimate complaints against the Constitution, confusing the electorate, excluding ordinary citizens from understanding the new documents and so excluding us from any ability to criticise what EU leaders are planning. It is about keeping the substance of the Constitution and moves towards further integration whilst pretending the Constitution has disappeared. Their plan was a move against democracy in the EU and therefore contrary to the declared policy of the European Union. Jean Claude Juncker – Prime Minister of Luxembourg"Britain is different. Of course there will be transfers of sovereignty. But would I be intelligent to draw the attention of public opinion to this fact?" "There is a single legal personality for the EU, the primacy of European law, a new architecture for foreign and security policy, there is an enormous extension in the fields of the EU\’s powers" http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/1556400/Dont-tell-British-about-the-EU-treaty.htmlThe government has lost control of our laws as they are made in Brussels. The government cant just help us they have to ask permission to do so from Brussels. That includes training people back into work.Vote anyone that will gaurantee a referendum. Tory wont if it is rattified. Vote UKIP

  56. Kenneth says:

    The problem with big Gordie is that he is a bully. He always has to have his own way and does not tolerate dissent. He, like many other MP\’s, has never had a "REAL" job outside politics and whilst he may be excellent at manipulating financial spreadsheets in his own little dream world, he cannot recoginise that real wheelers and dealers have more knowledge and ability than he does. Since he became the Chancellor, he has consistently fudged the issue of the UK finances (Sale of gold reserves being a prime example) and in addition has surrendered the UK to the EU. The really sad thing in all this, is that he can never admit making even one error of judgement. Whilst it is obvious that the expenses row embraces all of the political parties, it is just as clear that the main offenders have been his own people and everything has been done with the knowledge and consent of the speaker Martin.

  57. Charlene says:

    Angus….. When the general elections were held last time my school had a mock general election where the 6th form formed different political parties and had assemblies on what their parties stood for, the local MP\’s were also invited in for a debate at lunch which was very well attended, the assembly hall was packed! then the whole school voted for their party based on what they had heard through the week, it was absolutly brilliant! Taught us so much and was really fun, we got to challenge the MP\’s on issues that mattered to us and had a heated debate about various topics which greatly informed our decision making. Unfortunatly this does not happen in real life, when I turned up at the polling station earlier, there were 15 parties standing in my local area, half of whom I had never heard of, the others who I have recieved promotional jargon which does not highlight party policies and what they want to do in Europe following a successful election, how on earth am I supposed to make an informed decision and vote for those values which I would like to be important in my society? It would have been far better to have recieved a pamflet from each and every party and then the oppertunity to attend a debate at the local town hall/ public meeting space to debate on important issues so that the general public can ask the questions that they want addressed by their local MP\’s and national government before the voting takes place.

  58. stephen says:

    i may be old and in a minority but i have never oned a credit card,never took a dept i canot pay on normal hours,and worked overtime & weekends to get in front.the only decent pay rises were gained by sticking together and fighting for them.the only way things will change is if people stick together and fight to change it.if not we get what we deserve.goverments that do what thay want,with no regard for the people.and managment that will treat you like slaves.think of you as a resorce not a human.

  59. terry says:

    Im Just Curoius to Know why Our Taxes Pay for an MPs. Morgage Food Gas Electric and More Out off Public Funds hey Claim Millions and get Payed a wage

  60. Kayleigh says:

    Terry I agree with you. Why should we pay for the MPs to have a lifestyle that they want, when they get paid for doing their jobs a lot better than what we do for doing ours and while we are struggling they are using our money to pay for their houses. They are really putting our money to good use for the country by doing that. It\’s as ridiculous as us going into work and saying I want a new sofa and the one I want is £300 so you are going to pay for it. Our bosses would laugh us out of our jobs!

  61. donald says:

    Terry when you make the rules up you can do what you want. Stephen you are correct the only way we can solve this problem is to stand together. Charlene to get up the political ladder in this country there is one thing you must be and that is ( a profesional liar ) who will do and say anything to get elected but try and not put it in wrighting, Tony Blair was a fine example he did an about turn on election issues with out a thought.

  62. Unknown says:

    who voted tory/lab/lib bah bah bah just like sheep to the slaughter

  63. Kenneth says:

    Just another fun day in 10 Downing Street I see.

  64. james says:

    all bloody moneygrabbers

  65. Dot says:

    I signed thishttp://petitions.number10.gov.uk/AgeBarriers/

  66. Barry says:

    I am 58 tomorrow and have tried for over 3 and a half years with no success. In that time i have also gained a degree, but it is worthless unless someone gives mr a job. truth is they only want to invest in the youngsters on the cheap. they want interns working for nothing or less. They don;t want me as I would cost too much, even on minimum wages.

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