Last night’s YouGov daily poll has some initial questions on the Autumn statement, full tabs are here. As we regularly see in the trackers on the Sunday Times polls, the public are deeply negative about the state of the economy and how they will fare over the next 12 months – that hasn’t changed. 56% of people think the government is handling the economy badly, with 34% thinking they are doing well. That said, while people think the government are doing badly, they think Labour would be worse: 37% of people think the economy would be even worse were Labour in power, with only 25% thinking that Labour would be doing a better job.

There is a similar picture if you replace the government & Labour with Osborne and Balls. People think George Osborne is doing a bad job as Chancellor by 49% to 24%, a sharp decline from when YouGov asked the same question after this year’s budget when 34% thought he was doing a good job. However, Osborne’s lead over Ed Balls on who would make the better Chancellor has grown. 30% would now pick Osborne, with Balls on 24%, compared to a lead of 25% to 23% in July.

The survey goes on to ask people’s preferred party on various aspects of economic policy and here views are a bit more nuanced. People see the Conservatives as the party best able to reduce the country’s deficit, steer the economy through the crisis and support British business. However, Labour are seen as more able to create jobs, keep prices down and encourage growth.

Asked what is most to blame for the much lower growth forecasts, the government are continuing to avoid the largest share of the blame, with only a minority blaming them for the current state of the economy. Asked to pick the two main factors for slow growth the largest group of people blame the debt crisis in the Eurozone (44%), followed by the last Labour government (32%), the banks (31%) and 28% the current government.

YouGov asked about the specific measures contained in the Autumn statement, with mostly predictable results – it goes almost without saying that large majorities approved of the cancellation of the January hike in fuel duty, a lower rate of increase in rail fares and an increase in the bank levy. Interesting ones are the public sector pay freeze (supported by 47%, opposed by 41%), increasing the state pension age to 67 by 2026 (supported by 40%, opposed by 51%) and increasing the discount on right-to-buy (supported by 34%, opposed by 50%). The decision to update benefit payments in line with the 5.2% rate of inflation split opinion down the middle – 40% of people thought it was the right thing to do, 44% think it was wrong.

Finally YouGov asked about perceptions of what parts of the country the statement helped most. I thought this would be interesting given many of the big infrastructure projects were in the North, and whether that would be picked up at all. It doesn’t seem to have been! There were large chunks of don’t knows on all the regions, and those who did answer percieved it to have helped the South the most. Of course, in floating the possibility of regional pay scales for public servants the statement could indeed help the South the most, but I expect the answers to this question actually just reflect people’s pre-existing view of the Conservatives caring more about London and the South than the rest of the country.


298 Responses to “YouGov poll on the Autumn statement”

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  1. Latest YouGov/Sun results

    1st Dec

    CON 36%

    LAB 41%

    LD 11%

    APP -26

  2. Anthony Wells

    Statgeek – for the first periodic boundary review in the 1950s the Commons did vote on separate orders to implement each group of constituencies.

    It was not a particularly enlightening debate.

    You want unenlightening discussion of boundary changes? I’ll give you unenlightening discussion of boundary changes.

    http://www.tynwald.org.im/papers/hansards/2005-2006/th18012006.pdf

    (p669ff – 15 of pdf)

    Though I suppose you could argue it was very enlightening in some ways. Just not very edifying.

  3. Tonight’s YouGov:

    Con 36
    Lab 41
    Lib Dem 11
    SNP / PCY 4
    UKIP 4
    Green 2
    BNP 1
    Respect 0
    Other 0

    Approval 30 – 56 = -26

    Non-voters 23% (but 20% of 2010 Tories)

    Tables are here:

    http://cdn.yougov.com/cumulus_uploads/document/ps2ptzk6pm/YG-Archives-Pol-Sun-results-011211.pdf

  4. @Roger Mexico

    Excellent analysis, not wasted at all.

    I gave a cynical laugh at this bit:
    “….the increase in the state pension age is opposed 51% to 40%. As usual only the over-60s are in favour – given this shouldn’t they introduce it now and make it retrospective?”

    I’m getting quite p****d off with this lot. And I bet the most affluent pensioners are the ones keenest to pull up the drawbridge behind them. Perhaps it’s time to dramatically reduce the thresholds on inheritance tax.

  5. Well Mrs A and I have both been badly hit by the raise in pension age – just below the age threshold. Very browned off about this.

    Still, I can’t stay down for long – especially when we have the endlessly entertaining Sarkozy to bring us mirth. Nine days left to save the Euro, and he wants to start talks about a new treaty. Laughable.

  6. Evan Harris just confirmed on Newsnight that Danny Alexander misspoke.

    Danny Finkelstein saying that LD’s do not have any flexibility on this and that ‘you cannot release a HMT red book with an asterix saying *subject to north western and south western Liberal Democrats CP’s’

    Evan retorts ‘the red book does not write the Lib Dem manifesto’

    The debate continues: and it will rumble on for months (at a low level to start with).

  7. Alec- unfortunately Germany requires a new treaty (giving them via ECB effective vetoes over annual budget plans of EZ states).

    What Iain Dale causes a ‘greater Germany’ (with only just below the surface the notion of ‘fourth reich’).

    The treaty will take months but a direction of travel and a short stop mechanism is probably what we are going to get- and Sarkozy and Merkel can agree that over the next days.

    Then over the next months the treaty will be bashed out- and it will probably involve the orderly (and at first highly secret) ejection of some of the PIIGS. I would not be surprised if certain historic currencies are already stockpiled in various locations around Europe.

    The alternative is sadly far worse than a couple of years on your pension age.

    Look at your DVD collection and grab any number of post-apocalyptic titles.

    Chaos, disorder and small scale local barons are what happens when central state authority disappears. Might. strength and violence rules.

    Anyone hoping for a post capitalist tea party of ‘small scale self organising cooperation and community’ is absolutely purposively naively confused and wilfully ignorant of history down through the age.

  8. Rob Sheffield

    Do you think someone should gently point out to Danny Finkelstein that economic policy after the next election might also be subject to the will of the electorate? Or perhaps those within the Westminster bubble are thinking of dismissing the people and electing a new one.

    What I find amusing about all this quibbling is that if 18 months of coalition government can lead to a further two years of austerity, how can we be assured that austerity will ever end? Or if they can’t get their projections right six months ahead, why should be discussing seriously what their projections are for sixty?

  9. 11% and the Lib Dems motoring (UKIP trailing on 4%). Not surprising really. I would not be surprised if the strikes etc do not put a few more people off Labour to the benefit of the yellows.

    Before I get too many angry red responses, I was only joking and expect its an outlier.

  10. PHIL

    ‘I’m getting quite p****d off with this lot. And I bet the most affluent pensioners are the ones keenest to pull up the drawbridge behind them. Perhaps it’s time to dramatically reduce the thresholds on inheritance tax.’

    Please can you provide the evidence to support this attack on we elderly Phil. I think we should all be careful not to be agest.

  11. Phil

    As I’ve said before, the most pampered and privileged generation this country had ever produced.

  12. @Henry
    “Please can you provide the evidence to support this attack on we elderly Phil.”

    Trying to think hard how best to evidence further attacks. The One Show seems interested only in controversy generated by overpaid (and then some) BBC motoring celebrities. Perhaps taking a trip on the tube and providing video evidence of verbal assault might generate a few hits on YouTube?

  13. Actually to expand on that latter point, Ken made an interesting comment a few days ago comparing economists to astrologers. I think there’s a lot in that. But not today’s Russell Grant types, churning out twelve indistinguishable Thoughts for the Day and untroubled by astronomical facts from the precession of the equinoxes to the discovery of the double planetoid Pluto/Charon. Rather the great astrologers of the Renaissance.

    These people used the most advanced mathematics of their time (indeed some of it they invented) and the best technology available. Many of them were indeed great scientists such as Kepler. And yet in the end their work was useless and its acceptability was based more on the prejudices of its recipients than any objective truth or success in prediction.

    Sound familiar?

  14. Phil
    ‘Trying to think hard how best to evidence further attacks. The One Show seems interested only in controversy generated by overpaid (and then some) BBC motoring celebrities. Perhaps taking a trip on the tube and providing video evidence of verbal assault might generate a few hits on YouTube?’

    That’s the spirit. I am sure it will all be worthwhile.

  15. LEFTYLAMPTON

    And (as an oldie) I have regularly agreed with that assessment of my generation.

  16. @PHIL

    Just waiting for the inheritance. :)

  17. I think too many posters appear to be dispirited at the moment.

    I have only one area of particular concern and that is unemployment especially the young. However at least the Government has recognised this and has introduced a range of initiatives that in a few years will bear fruit. That is no help to the unemployed today, but it is the price of many years of neglect in education, lack of vocational training, hardly any apprenticeships, closure of colleges, etc. which hopefully are now being addressed.

    Otherwise IMO, things are far better now than in the seventies. I remember leaving for work at 6.45am to commute into London and returning at 7.30 pm, working for a pittance; luckily we had a council flat; we could not afford a car (as we were saving for a deposit for a flat). There seemed to be a continuous bout of strikes, reducing the number of days we were permitted to work; terrorism particularly associated with aircraft was common; and by the end of the seventies we were doing so badly the IMF had to step in and tell us how to run our economy. Even worse, until the late seventies we had no London Councillors and few MPs.

    Surely there must be one or two other older posters who agree with me about the seventies and now or was I just unlucky.

  18. @ Anyone interested

    Trying hard to ignore the Scottish Crossbreaks…DOH!

    I’ve done some comparisons of the polling since the YG methodology changes. Now got 34 polls since 14/10, so I have made up a couple of graphs to compare 34 pre vs 34 since.

    Some other what-if data added in to spice things up too.

    34 Polls prior to 14/10:

    h ttp://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/4/beforen.png/

    34 After:

    h ttp://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/833/afterpg.png/

    Averages and VI changes:

    h ttp://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/39/data.png/

    Scotland Votes Pre-14/10:

    Lab 43 (+2)
    SNP 8 (+2)
    Lib 5 (-6)
    Con 3 (+2)

    Scotland Votes Post-14/10:

    Lab 40 (-1)
    SNP 13 (+7)
    Lib 3 (-8)
    Con 3 (+2)

    Some facts:

    SNP ahead of Labour in 2 of 34 polls prior to 14/10, however ahead in 11 of 34 since. Labour on or above 45% on nine occasions before. Once since. Labour on or below 35% five times before. Thirteen times since.

    Conservative largely unchanged in the periods. Slight gain for LD, small drop for Con.

  19. Latest polling average is a Labour lead of 3%. That probably wouldn’t be enough for a majority under the new boundaries, but I agree we shouldn’t start using the new boundaries until they’ve been accepted by parliament.

  20. Henry
    “Otherwise IMO, things are far better now than in the seventies”
    “Surely there must be one or two other older posters who agree with me about the seventies and now or was I just unlucky.”

    I agree with your memories, except it didn’t bother me much (I was drunk much of the time). I thought the 3-day week was brilliant. I asked my boss if I could carry on doing 3 days a week when it officially finished, but he wasn’t having it. I’ve finally recovered that situation, and now work 2 days a week.

    In 1973 I was earning £12 a week. In 1977-8 I commuted from Birmingham to Coventry via 3 buses and two trains. I only left home and arrived home in daylight for 3 weeks of the year. Nevertheless I bought 2 houses and got married in that decade despite my variable-rate mortgage hitting 17.5% at one point. I was young, and remembered my 1950s childhood, with rationing, very few people having cars or telephones, bomb sites everywhere etc., so it didn’t seem so bad.

    In retrospect, the 1980s and 1990s might be a Golden Age, even if the last few years of that was built on debt.

    Sorry to go on, but you did ask! :-)

  21. @Roger Mexico

    h
    ttp://www.skyscript.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=5267&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=150

    Here is a thread discussing the UK general election in 2010… two astrologers accurately predicted the result, with it seems, very little knowledge of UK politics.

  22. Andy JS

    “Latest polling average is a Labour lead of 3%. That probably wouldn’t be enough for a majority under the new boundaries, but I agree we shouldn’t start using the new boundaries until they’ve been accepted by parliament.”

    Your using the yesterdays UKPR polling average (which changes from day to day)- and interpreting it on a uniform swing- as bein indicative of the next GE result, is about as stupid as me running the numbers and sunbtracting the seat numbers Baston implies will be lost after the changes.

    Nut I’m going to do it anyway.

    Electoral calculus seat projection of 36/ 39/ 10

    Con 270
    Lab 340
    LD 15
    NAT 7
    OTH 0

    Analysis of BC suggest the net losses (E, W and S) will be

    Con -11
    Lab -23
    LD -14
    NAT 7
    OTH -1

    Best projection of yesterdays UKPR average of 36/39/10 (on new boundaries) is therefore

    Con 259
    Lab 317
    LD 1
    NAT 7
    OTH 0

    plus 16 in NI

    That is a majority over all other parties of 34.

    See? STOOPID- just like ‘wot U sed’

  23. Pete B/ Henery et al

    “In retrospect, the 1980s and 1990s might be a Golden Age, even if the last few years of that was built on debt.”

    I was a teenager in the 1980’s.

    I remember crumbling schools, run-down understaffed hospitals, my father being made redundant four times, my estate sinking under the petty thievery and my mum taking on three separate cleaning jobs to make ends (just about) meet, so that I hardly ever saw her.

    The 1980’s was a disastrous and terrible decade.

    In the early 1990’s I graduated into Lamonts ‘if it isn’t hurting it isn’t working/ ‘unemployment is a price worth paying’ recession. There followed several years of underemployment (principally volunteering in order to get practical experience in my fields and a employment reference).

    Finally in the late 190’s I was on a career path and during the early noughties switched careers slightly and moved into working as a University research first and then lecturer.

    “In retrospect” I will look back upon the late 90’s and the noughties as a golden age even if a small number of years of that long glorious period were based on household and credit card debt, financial sector chicanery/ amorality and a weak Prime Minister who would not rein in private sector excesses and raise taxes on the uber rich to pay for the required public spending.

  24. @Rob S,

    I assume you’re kidding?

    The net losses were calculated on the difference the new boundaries would have made to the 2010 General Election result, not the 2015 General Election. Your analysis makes hardly more sense than Statgeek’s obsession with Scottish crossbreaks!

  25. Neil A

    yep (read last line) – whereas Andy JS was being serious !!

  26. @NEIL A

    What do you expect from a geek? :P

  27. Rob S

    “I remember crumbling schools, run-down understaffed hospitals, my father being made redundant four times, my estate sinking under the petty thievery and my mum taking on three separate cleaning jobs to make ends (just about) meet, so that I hardly ever saw her.”

    The Primary School I attended, which was built in about 1880, is still there and in use. I was made redundant 3 times in the 1980s, and my mum had two jobs in the 1960s and 1970s. We all have hard luck stories, but I still think that the 1980s in particular was the most prosperous decade of my life, though I didn’t realise it at the time. It was when many ordinary people escaped from poverty for the first time. Mortgages were much more affordable than in the 1970s, council houses could be bought for a knock-down price, shares in privatised industries were available to all, the tax allowance went up a lot, basic tax rate came down from 33% to about 22% if I remember rightly. etc etc.
    The point I was trying to make was that our (UK, the West in general) prosperity has peaked, and we are likely to return to 1950s-type austerity whichever government is in power, for the foreseeable future, rather than exactly which decade was best.
    The bad news for you is that my generation will be better able to cope because we can remember what it was like last time round, and how to survive.

  28. Rob S and Pete B

    Happy days they were; we all seem to have expereinced some austerity at some point, and perhaps found it was not too bleak. I do not think anyone will face anything like the 20s and 30s, which only those well over seventy will remember.

  29. @ Anthony Wells

    “He hasn’t disappeared, he lives here

    http://eoin-clarke.blogspot.com/

    (well, he probably has a proper house too, but he has a website there)”

    I think that’s the cutest thing you’ve ever said. :)

  30. @ Old Nat

    Today I drove down to Westlake to get some deli sandwiches and thought of you when I passed St. Andrews Place. There was a sign for a “St. Andrews Square” right there in Koreatown.

    Don’t believe me?

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/450792314/

    (I had to go shopping today for some quick items and my sales associate at J. Crew was named Andrew and he was a saint….for a sales associate anyway.)

  31. Good Morning.
    I believe we are moving towards 1950’s period of austerity and poverty for a large minority, as the Bank of England Governor seems to be indicating.

    The differences between this period and our period:
    Grammar Schools have been removed as ladders of Opportunity. (Most Grammars were closed under MT)

    Family Life has fragmented, with absent Dads very common.

    Media exposure has informed us about the super rich.

    Collins’s book has shown us about the death of the white working class.

    Organised religion was a comfort for people.

    In the 1950’s the Conservatives, who won three GE’s were led by men who believed in helping the poor as best they could, since Harold MacMillan remembered the 1930’s, was a good man, and served his country in the war (although his post Yalta phase is controversial)

    Food Banks for the Poor are a symbol of the late elizabethan age.

  32. @ Henry

    “Happy days they were; we all seem to have expereinced some austerity at some point, and perhaps found it was not too bleak. I do not think anyone will face anything like the 20s and 30s, which only those well over seventy will remember.”

    I hope to never have to live through a situation like that. I think that one thing we try and learn from these terrible experiences is to not repeat them. I feel that way about World War II.

  33. @ Chris Lane

    “Family Life has fragmented, with absent Dads very common.

    Media exposure has informed us about the super rich.

    Collins’s book has shown us about the death of the white working class.

    Organised religion was a comfort for people.”

    Well the Kardashians haven’t come to UK tv yet have they? If so, you’ve been spared. I think reality tv shows about the rich are obnoxious and push forward classism.

    I don’t think fatherless homes are neccessarily a problem in and of itself. I think more often though you have a number of women who will have children in the hopes of forcing a relationship. It usually doesn’t happen. More often than not, these women can’t afford to take care of their kids and aren’t ready for parenthood. This leads to significant social problems. This has happenned here with the Black Father’s Crisis (maybe the situation is different in Britain).

    Fatherless homes can raise great and successful children. See, e.g., the current President of the United States. Or this kid: http://youtu.be/yMLZO-sObzQ

    But responsible parenting is key. That has to be preached and taught and expected of everyone. People should not have kids unless they are able to take care of them and are ready for the responsibilities of parenthood.

    I can tell you from personal experience that many of the super wealthy celebrities who go on reality tv are often irresponsible (losing dogs, forgetting kids, etc).

  34. Henry

    I think everyone except the lucky few will experience something like the late 20s and 30s, eventually average standards of living will have to fall by close to 50%, it all depends on how that fall is divided. Although I go on about the banks all the time, I am in fact more worried about peak oil

  35. @ Richard in Norway

    “I am in fact more worried about peak oil”

    In Norway? With massive oil reserves and hydropower resources as well?

    If you’re worried, what should we be?

    Seriously, I think if we have reached peak oil it will be the most massive spur to energy innovation western society has ever seen. If we put our mind to it, we can fight our way out of this corner, even with existing technology. Proper use of existing insulation/ energy conservation methods could reduce our energy usage dramatically very quickly.

  36. @Henry
    ” I remember leaving for work at 6.45am to commute into London and returning at 7.30 pm, working for a pittance”

    Not much has changed Henry, except fares have got dearer and the privatised rail services have not improved. Just go to any mainline train station in London and you will see what I mean.

  37. @ Chris Lane

    “I believe we are moving towards 1950?s period of austerity and poverty for a large minority, as the Bank of England Governor seems to be indicating.”

    It’s possible. I don’t think we’ll see a massive fall in the standards of living because the majorities won’t stand for it and smart politicians will figure out how to fix the problem. If all the economies of the globe are suffering from a fall in the standards of living, governments around the globe will eventually come together and agree on new rules that benefit and help each other.

    Of course, the point at which governments do this may come a long time after we start to see massive falls in the standard of living. I worry a great deal about that period.

  38. Not sure what everyone means when they talk about 1950s austerity. Rationing was over by 1954 and the economy was growing quite rapidly throughout most of the period.

    What we have here is a slightly wealthier version of the 1930s – a fully fledged global depression, with the threat of other nasties, in this case peak oil/environmental collapse.

    I think the Autumn statement was a seminal moment because it marked the point where the possibility that we could simply spend more to solve our problems was finally nailed into its coffin. I think the majority of the public know this and it is reflected in the polling figures. Public opinion is going through the same pattern as the Kübler Ross model of grief – denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.

    But the trouble is that, while most of the electorate is somewhere between four and five, Ed Balls is still at stage one.

  39. LIZH
    ‘Not much has changed Henry, except fares have got dearer and the privatised rail services have not improved. Just go to any mainline train station in London and you will see what I mean.’

    I am sorry to hear it, Liz. I don’t live anywhere near London now, nor do I work.

  40. RiN
    You worry too much about peak oil.

    Every century has indulged in Mathlusianesque worries about resources. Every generation has ignored the ability of bright people and technology to produce paradigm shifts.

    Had you told someone in 1650 that coal would power an unprecedented productive revolution, you’d have been the source of much amusement.

    Had you told someone in 1850 that oil and electricity would pick up the baton, you’d have been dismissed as a similar crank.

    In 1920, Lord Rutherford himself thought that radioactivity was but an academic curiosity with no practical use whatsoever.

    Peak oil will come and go and in the big historical picture, it will be seen as simply a passing of the torch to another technology, whatever that might be.

  41. Robert C
    ‘What we have here is a slightly wealthier version of the 1930s – a fully fledged global depression, with the threat of other nasties, in this case peak oil/environmental collapse.’

    I think alot has changed with Altlee and Liberal Beverage and the welfare state. Do away with that and perhaps we would be closer to those days.

    I think most people suffered more in the twenties than the thirties, certainly my Dad did. Unemployed and looking for work at the age of 14, by the 30s he had a good job, a roof over his head, a motor bike and a wife, not necessarily in that order.

  42. @TheGreeny’
    ‘had thought that 18 months in the ‘blame Labour’ message would have started to significantly wane allowing them to recover, but there is no evidence of that ‘
    I would suggest that Labour has actually made a dramatic recovery in the polls – rising from 29.7% at the 2010 election to circa 40% now.As far as the’blame Labour’ message is concerned, in the latest Guardian ICM poll 30% still blame Labour whilst 24% blame the Coalition – hardly a huge diffrerence given that the figures predate the Autumn Statement.
    I largely agree with Rawnsley’s Observer article – a new government is given some leeway before being harshly judged for its shotcomings,particularly when the outgoing Government had been in power for a long time.
    My mind goes back to Harold Wilson’s Government of 1964 – 70.It scraped into office in October 64 with a majority of 5 and inherited a record Balance of Payments deficit from the outgoing Tory Govt..Wilson was able to blame the country’s economic problems on ’13 years of Tory misrule’, and after 18 months he coasted to a landslide win in March 1966 on the back of some improvement in the economy which he was able to contrast with his predecessors.Four months later, he was derailed by a sterling crisis which forced him to introduce crisis deflationary measures including a pay freeze- having rejected the devaluation option again.
    By the Autumn of 1967 his economic policy had been seriously undermined by a national dock strike and the closing of the Suez canal following the 6.Day Arab-Israeli war.Devaluation in November 1967 became inevitable – his credibility and popularity plummeted.No longer could the difficulties be blamed on ’13 years of Tory misrule – people were simply no longer open to that suggestion. Nor did he try to use the slogan in the 1970 election campaign.
    I suspect we may be looking at something similar today – the Government has not yet been in power quite long enough to be fully blamed for economic failures – though by this time next year its excuses are much less likely to be accepted.

  43. Yes, yes, yes, I appreciate that you old folk had patched up shoes and dry bread 3 times a day as bairns.

    What you are not taking into account is what has happened over the past 3 decades or so.

    We have seen an utterly unprecedented shift of wealth from the young to the old. Primarily driven by obscene and utterly in justified increases in house prices. My parents bought a house, a 3 bed semi in Doncaster for £2k in 1968. In 2003, my mother sold the same house for just under 80 times that amount. When they bought it, it cost just over 3 times my father’s annual wage as a low grade clerical worker. When my mother sold it, as a recently-retired primary teacher, its price was almost 6 times her salary, and around 8 times the median national salary.

    That is a colossal transferal of wealth from the current young generation directly into her pocket. It is obscene and immoral.

    Add to that the fact that that generation reached its peak earning power in an era of (what we now see as) an unsustainable by bubble of low taxation and public services, AND that they were the ones (public and private) who had excellent pension provision and often early retirement. The lucky ones in that generation also enjoyed massively subsidised higher education to give them a springboard for life.

    It is the under-40s and particularly the under 25s who are now picking up the tab for the huge benefits that this generation bestowed on itself. Never mind right vs left. THIS is by far the biggest fault line in our society today and for the next 25 years.

    And to cap it all, the older generation doesn’t even do the decent thing and due off at a sustainable age these days…

  44. RinN

    ‘I think everyone except the lucky few will experience something like the late 20s and 30s, eventually average standards of living will have to fall by close to 50%, it all depends on how that fall is divided. Although I go on about the banks all the time, I am in fact more worried about peak oil’

    Good morning Richard. I feel thoroughly cheered down after another dire warning from yourself.

    I do not see this as a world crisis but more of a western one; perhaps China and India will experience a hiccup or two. The point is we have been heading for a financial catastrophe for years. I’m an economist (but not a great one as you know). What amazes me is that the economic experts, many of whom guide politicians, really said so little about the impending doom. Are they really that bad or just mischevious?

  45. Due=die of course. Bloody iPhone.

  46. @Leftylampton,

    For once I completely agree with you, on the disparity of wealth between those born post-war and those born in the 70s onwards.

    I fall roughly between the two stools, having done pretty well out of the house price boom (flat value increasing by 3.5 times over 13 years) but not nearly so well as many who got “on the ladder” a few years before me.

    For me, this is just one of the reasons why the current government is having to break so much bad news to the electorate. “You know that life that your parents had? That was actually an unsustainable con-trick, and you’re not going to have it so good. Sorry”.

  47. LeftyLampton

    ‘Yes, yes, yes, I appreciate that you old folk had patched up shoes and dry bread 3 times a day as bairns.’

    Only if we were good.

    ‘When my mother sold it, as a recently-retired primary teacher, its price was almost 6 times her salary, and around 8 times the median national salary.’

    House prices have risen massively,for a variety of reasons, including a shortfall in house building and availability and an increasing population.

    That does not make it (home ownership) all bad. I think home ownership provides ordinary people with a roof over their head, an excellent method of saving and independence. I do not like much of the continent’s arrangements where so many rent from rich landlords. As an ex council tenant I strongly support council housing for the poorer in society but not profiteering from the ownership of strings of properties.

    I think the Coalition are attempting to help more people own their own homes and to build more homes, both IMO a good move.

  48. @LEFTYLAMPTON
    Your attitude to property prices is one of the best examples of the politics of envy, I have seen for a long time, and BTW, I have seen a few on this board. Good luck to your Mum, I am delighted she has got a bit behind her.

    As for us post war babies, had the poo hit the fan on the North German plain in say 1970 we would all be brown bread many years since, but it didn’t and we are not.
    It would have saved your socialist feelings and in addition you could now benefit from a Soviet Europe, which would suit you no end. Tough luck you.

  49. Chou.

    Once again, you assume that anyone who has that attitude is driven by envy. A fascinating insight into your take on humanity.

    As it happens, I am one of the ones who has a foot in both generations, and on the property question, I am in the fortunate generation. I was lucky (“lucky” note – nothing whatsoever to do with my own genius) to have bought a house when they were relatively inexpensive. I have recently moved house, and, having a 60% deposit, was able to get a superbly competitive long-term low-rate deal.

    One of my (excellent) employees, a 27 year old, is currently looking to buy a house. To get one of the quality that I bought as a 23 year old, he’s looking at a 5-times salary cost as a minimum. To get an interest rate deal similar to the one that I got, he would need a deposit in the region of twice his annual income.

    Envy doesn’t come into it. My nest is feathered. Through extremely good fortune. That doesn’t prevent me from feeling disgusted that my generation and even more so, the one above me have denied that opportunity to the bright, ambitious, hard-working kids coming up behind us.

  50. @leftylampton
    It must be murder having the conscience of the world on your shoulders, God help you. The list of Labour politicians your associate’s bang on about, who “served” through the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, did there utmost to increase the wealth of ordinary people. Even some Tories get a kind word, mostly Mr You’v Never Had It So Good.
    So all the work, effort, borrowing, your Deity, Clement Attlee began, to build a land fit for heroes, was wrong.
    The property owning democracy, was wrong. Very interesting.

    BTW, individual examples are not much help. My son married last July, he and his wife have just moved into a 2 bed flat (bought) in Wimbledon. Very nice to, he is 27, she is 26. Wimbledon is not cheap, so it can be done.

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