Following on from the ORB and ICM polls at the start of the week, there are two more EU polls today that both have small movements towards Leave. YouGov in the Times have topline figures of REMAIN 41%(+1), LEAVE 42%(+3), DK/WNV 17%(-4), while Survation for IG have topline figures of REMAIN 45%(-1), LEAVE 38%(+3), DK 17%(-2). I’m dubious about whether this is an Obama effect, but it does put to bed the idea that the series of polls last week showing a movement towards Remain was the start of some sort of breakthrough.

An interesting thing about the YouGov poll – while their headline EU voting intention figures have changed very little over the last few months, there has been movement in Remain’s favour on the economic argument. Back in February people thought Britain would be worse off outside the EU by only a two point margin, it’s now thirteen points (35% worse off, 22% better off). YouGov’s regular EU questions have also shown increasing belief that leaving the EU would be bad for jobs, and bad for people’s personal finances. Yet this hasn’t translated into any movement in the headline figures.

This may be because it’s being balanced out by factors favouring Leave, like immigration or the NHS, or it may be that the economic argument hasn’t started to bite yet. I’m reminded of the experience of Scotland, where people swung towards YES during the campaign despite telling pollsters they thought that an independent Scotland would be worse off economically… but ended up swinging in favour of risk aversion and what they thought was their best economic interest in the final fortnight. Anyway, time will tell.

Finally YouGov have voting intention figures of CON 30%, LAB 33%, LDEM 6%, UKIP 20%. That twenty percent for UKIP is a record high from YouGov, though I am a little dubious about it. While it seems perfectly feasible that during a referendum campaign the only significant political party backing one side of the argument may get a boost in support, we haven’t seen such a big boost in support echoed in any other polling. Wait to see if that’s reflected in any other polling before getting too excited.


361 Responses to “YouGov/Times – Remain 41%, Leave 42%”

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  1. @Hawthorn – ““armature dramatics”

    He’s a real human dynamo!”

    Best post of the year so far. Might even make it into my ‘On This Day On UKPR’ series some the next election, if I can sober up by then.

  2. My last post was ‘@Carfrew’ of course

  3. @Carfrew – “From the persepective of the left, might need to explore investing in ways not so easily sold off. Setting up trusts, perhaps, with independent funding.”

    Couldn’t a left wing government take our taxes, invest them in offshore trusts so they wouldn’t have to pay any tax, give us back what we paid and then spend the profits on schools, hospitals and free beer?

    Is this what you mean, or have I had too much beer already.

  4. Carfrew
    “But it needs various ducks to be lined up. In the capital, paramedics are struggling just to pay rent, never mind buy a home.”

    My niece is a paramedic in London. Her husband is a senior paramedic. Between them, they are on almost 100k. They bought their house 2 years ago (High Wycombe) having saved every penny they could for 5 years. No help at all from parents.

    It’s all about priorities and what peeps think is important.

    Good night, sleep well old chap.

  5. @Robert Newark

    Why the need to get all preachy and self virtuous about these things? Your highly personal anecdote says nothing about the difficulties others may be experiencing in terms of buying a house, getting a secure and well paid job and making a success of their lives. The implication of what you say is that really everyone should be as successful as your family and, if they’re not, well, they’re not working hard enough/clever enough/conscientious enough/self-sacrificing enough/virtuous enough/proud enough/*

    *delete as appropriate.

    I’ve never bought this right wing argument that gross inequality is the fault of the poor for not getting off their arses and trying hard enough.

  6. @Pete B

    As ever you try and Stoke with ad hominems. Possibly in the hope AW will mod but I’m gonna keep it classy.

    What actually happened was Neil posted a link about electoral fraud. You seized on this as a justification for individual registration. Guymonde pointed out this could disenfranchise not just the young but the mobile. You then responded thusly…

    “Are young mobile students particularly lazy or stupid then, so that they can’t be a***d or are unable to register? Why would it be any harder for them than say elderly folks whose eyesight and/or memory isn’t what it was?”

    I came in later, after you’d already had a pop at your hobby horse of the young…

  7. “My niece is a paramedic in London. Her husband is a senior paramedic. Between them, they are on almost 100k. They bought their house 2 years ago (High Wycombe) having saved every penny they could for 5 years. No help at all from parents.”

    So people earning twice the average wage can buy a house after 5 years of hard saving. Wow!

    What about those on average wages?

    Unwittingly, dear old @Robert Newark has just neatly illustrated the point that he was arguing against.

    Or less than average?

  8. @Alec

    There’s an issue with basic rationality. They think if they can find a few examples of peeps lucky enough to be able to buy their own home, then it’s just the same as it was for them!!!

    Only of course it isn’t.

  9. @Robert Newark

    You’re dodging the point. No one disputes that some are able to still buy their own home. That’s already been accepted.

    The point is that it is harder, and getting harder, and needs lots of ducks lined up.

    In this case they needed time to be up the ladder quite a bit to earn enough. It also needs a dual wage. If one falls I’ll, no slack in the system to take the strain and cover. Less money for other important things.

    What about paramedics starting out now at the bottom of the ladder watching property rise out of reach even if they climb the ladder?

    And in the past, those less capable of rising the ladder could still aspire to ownership. It’s becoming a more exclusive club than it was for boomers.

    You’re dragging it out by making an argument of summat where there is agreement, while dodging the real point at issue.

  10. I’m not really sure what the point at issue is any more.

    Are we proposing 10m new homes, or arguing for the government to set house prices?

  11. Neil A

    “I’m not really sure what the point at issue is any more.”

    Isn’t it that some people can afford to live in London and others can’t?

  12. @Neil A

    Well that’s a rather extreme set of remedies. Maybe if successive governments hadn’t stoked house prices so much? But it’s more a discussion about what disenfranchises, filtered through the “interesting” prism of some boomer self-image. Which you inadvertently set in train…

  13. Carfrew
    You yourself said that Guymonde raised the subject of the young and voting. I was simply responding. It is not my ‘hobbyhorse’ as you call it.

    Regarding all the other posts re expensive housing in London. People don’t have to live there! If enough leave to other areas for house price reasons, then house prices will reduce automatically. Another way of reducing pressure on house prices is to get control of immigration by leaving the EU, but perhaps that’s a question for another day.

    Anyway, how is any of this going to effect polling? I haven’t been following the London mayor elections because I don’t live there, but are any of the candidates proposing a solution to the house price ‘crisis’ in London?

  14. Of course the record low interest rates are slightly skewing the reality of the debate about house prices.

    My mortgage today is for more than twice the amount of my mortgage 20 years ago, but the monthly payments are only about 35% more.

    If/when interest rates rise to more “normal” levels, the house price to income ratios will start to mean a whole lot more than they do in 2016.

  15. 2 paramedics earning £100k? Senior management? I could only find a pay scale of of £25K/35k on google.

  16. @Robert Newark

    Your niece and her partner are double earners each at the 90th percentile. To buy a house, they had to save every penny for 5 years as you say.

    It sounds like it is possible that you may have saved for 4 years (wanted to buy a house at 18, did so at 22) back in 1968? I can’t readily find the income distribution for 1968, but the average wage was apparently about £900, so your £515 is going to be nowhere near the 90th percentile. So you had that wage, plus potentially a wage from your partner?

    Unless your wife was a particular high-flyer wage wise back in 1968, and even if you scrimped as hard as your niece and her partner, it looks like you had an easier time from much further down the income distribution.

  17. @Pete B

    Guymonde mentioned the young and others. You were the one who focused on the young in disparaging manner. But anyways…

    It is impossible to avoid discussing various demographcs. Especially on a polling site where data is broken down by age FOR THAT VERY PURPOSE!! You seem to have hang ups when peeps mention young OR old: this I respectfully suggest, is your problem.

    Regarding relocating from London, not so simple when the economy isn’t as strong elsewhere and less work because less effect from QE, big infrastructure investments like Crossrail, Olympics etc.

    Personally, I wasn’t on about what to do about house prices, but the effect on polling if more people are so busy making ends meet voting falls off the radar. The more economically stable, the easier the luxury of voting.

  18. @Carfrew
    “You seem to have hang ups when peeps mention young OR old: this I respectfully suggest, is your problem.”

    Not at all, I simply try to refute your special pleading about how terrible life is for young people nowadays.

    “The more economically stable, the easier the luxury of voting.”

    Maybe 20 minutes of time up until 10pm on a Thursday night? Hardly a luxury. When I was young, I used to vote on the way to work. It’s really ridiculous to make out it’s so difficult.

    I’m off to bed now. I’m sorry if it makes you jealous that I’ve got a bed. I suppose it’s because I’m a ‘boomer’.

  19. There was a suggestion that this thread is redolent of the Four Yorkshiremen sketch.

    I’d say it more closely resembles another cinematic classic of my youth, though perhaps more in the attitude pointed up in the title than the content of the film:

    I’m Alright Jack

  20. @Pete B

    “Not at all, I simply try to refute your special pleading about how terrible life is for young people nowadays.”

    ———-

    But I don’t think it’s all terrible. I think some aspects which might affect polling are more difficult. Boomers had some things easier. The young have some extra opportunities, but tricky to reach them. In the long run, health advances significant, if they’re not burnt out through stress etc. But if one mentions Boomers, you ALSO get a red mist or summat.

    It’s highly unlikely all demographics have an exactly equal lot, so therefore reasonable to consider differential impact on polling. You might not enjoy it, but I don’t necessarily enjoy all your posts. (Some I do, they’re very revealing…)

    Regarding the difficulty, I know that might be a hard sell for you. Some people don’t like making allowances for others’ difficulties unless special pleading for themselves or tax avoiders or summat. It’s hard to convey how simple things can become problematic when overburdened. It’s the same in hospital. Simple things overlooked because stressed or too much on their plate.

    (I mean, you overlooked the fact that actually you had started on about the young, not me. You’re still going on about it, about “special pleading” etc… )

    The difficulty mounts considerably with compound issues, as you add each one. If stressed, working multiple jobs, single parent, short of cash, family member ill, reading difficulties, partially sighted etc.

    But voting as I argued earlier, might be easier than registration. Registration was what it was about: like Robert you have a habit of switching things a bit…

    So to summarise Pete, the issue of what affects different Demographics in polling is entirely reasonable, especially given the difference in turnout. Noting a difference between young and old is pretty inevitable.

  21. @Guymonde

    “Bonfire of the Vanities”, perchance?

  22. @NeilA

    “Are we proposing 10m new homes, or arguing for the government to set house prices?”

    Actually, neither is necessary.

    If government were to end the policy of forcing all branches of the state to achieve highest market value for all land disposals – and re-prioritise the land for use for affordable housing, that would go a huge way to delivering a marked increase in cheap rental, part buy and starter homes, not only in London but the other numerous hotspots that are developing across the country where prices are way out of kilter with earnings.

    As well-managed rental properties can deliver solid and reliable yields, and shared ownership properties deliver HPI linked returns as people step up the full ownership the capital costs of construction could even be met out of something akin to ‘housing bonds’ – allowing the wider public to invest in delivering additional housing stock without the hassle and deleterious effects of becoming rent to buy landlords. Pension funds and other investors looking for reliable long term investments could into the market to support such a policy (as they are in much of continental Europe).

    It should also be possible to introduce ownership controls on nationals from outside the EU purchasing large residential property portfolios in the UK (including via ghost companies).

    In focus grouping and polling on these policy principles they are very popular. Until the notion is introduced that such a readjustment in the market would in likelihood lead to a steady downward revaluation of house prices.

    Then the policies generally remain popular with age groups up to the 60+

  23. @ Carfew

    ‘From the persepective of the left, might need to explore investing in ways not so easily sold off. Setting up trusts, perhaps, with independent funding. ‘

    Yes. I remember being very struck by your saying this before and that is certainly the situation… although, as James Galbraith describes in his book “The Predator State’ it is also that services are put out to the private sector rather than wholesale asset transfer.

    I’m always interested by the understanding of the national debt because obviously as a currency issuer, the gov’t does not need to borrow (with all the caveats about gov’t spending being limited by full employment).

    MMT-ers see bond issue as a sort of High interest account at the bank, with the same function as taxation in controlling inflation. 60 odd % is owned by British Pensions and Insurance companies; 25+% are foreign owned and much of the rest is gov’t buy-back which results in interest being paid to the UK gov’t on gov’t money, borrowed by the gov’t. So in what sense is it a debt in the normal sense of the word?

    As I understand it, the foreign owned bonds/gilts are useful for foreign banks to dump the £sterling that they can’t use (but they can gain a little interest from). In other words, the facility for foreign investors to own bonds/gilts is part of encouraging imports. But regardless, the UK gov’t could pay off the national debt tomorrow if it wanted to so do.

    It seems that ‘we’ no longer use the words nationalise. Democratic ownership is the vogue, so workers co-operatives, trusts, mutuals may well be safer than public ownership.

  24. Carfrew
    You really are getting silly now. You started off by arguing that registration was very difficult for certain demographics, When it was pointed out that it was a 5-minute job on-line, you tried to muddy the waters by saying it was difficult for partially-sighted people. Eventually you switched back to how difficult it was to vote because of other priorities, and now that that has been refuted you post
    “Registration was what it was about:”

    Well yes, and that was answered some time ago by various people.

    This ‘debate’ is silly nonsense. As the Electoral Reform Society have said

    “We were the only Western democracy that still used household registration.
    The introduction of Individual Electoral Registration (IER) will improve the accuracy of the register and help to counter fraud.”

    They have a few caveats (that means warnings in case you weren’t taught Latin), but that statement sums up the case for the original argument, which you have done your best to derail.

    And now I really am going to bed.

  25. @Pete B

    I should add that the “special pleading gambit” is but another in a long line of misrepresentations. I wasn’t “pleading” for anything, just noting the way economic issues can affect polling, and how bureaucracy might also affect it.

    To the extent I might be concerned about that demographic, it would be wrong to assume I would try and specially advantage them in some way. Or indeed that I might be all that down on what advantages boomers enjoy. The more correct position is that if boomers enjoyed more affordable housing one might be pleased for boomers and might simply want this for others too.

    (That said, pulling the ladder up behind might be a bit dodgy. Not sure how you’d justify that…)

  26. @PETE

    2 paramedics earning £100k? Senior management? I could only find a pay scale of of £25K/35k on google.

    ————–

    Yeah, maybe Robert can explain?

    “Rate of paramedics leaving ambulance service nearly doubles

    9.12.15

    More than 1,000 paramedics left the ambulance service between April 2014 and March 2015, compared to just 566 between 2010 and 2011.”

    http://www.nationalhealthexecutive.com/Health-Care-News/rate-of-paramedics-leaving-ambulance-service-nearly-doubles

    “Topping the survey’s findings were warnings that inadequate pay and poor working conditions in the field are to blame for the low morale amongst paramedics and their desire to leave.

    But the survey indicated that almost three-quarters of remaining staff are considering leaving the health service, with a whopping 94% claiming their pay does not adequately reflect their responsibilities. Currently, the paramedic starting salary is just short of £22,000 annually, growing to £28,000 after seven years.

    And in a perfect storm of 10% vacancy rate and paramedic exodus, employers are having to look abroad for more employees.”

  27. @Pete B

    You keep taking issue with some weird caricature of what I said. I didn’t just mention being partially sighted, I gave other examples like reading difficulties.

    Early on I explained myself why voting might be easier, it wasn’t “refuted”

    Registration might counter fraud but is liable to differentially reduce turnout. Thus entirely legitimate to consider why.

    In fact, you did so yourself before I got involved, speculating as to why.

    You just don’t like having it countered. So you just complain about all sorts of trumped up stuff.

    I did do Latin and got my O level when I was fifteen.

  28. @Syzygy

    Yes, to be honest I’m still wondering about what the debt really means in an MMT world. Even when tied to Bretton, inflation took care of quite a bit of it. The ability to keep rolling it over is handy. Banks routinely write off their own debts made with magicked up money…

    And yes, democratic ownership migt be a better way of seeing it…

  29. The Four Yorkshiremen vs I’,m Allright Jack :-)

  30. @CARFREW, PETE,ROBERT et al

    Perhaps we should all acknowledge that each generation has both challenges and opportunities, but that these challenges and opportunities are not the same. There will always be those who fail to overcome the challenges or don’t take the opportunities for whatever reason. On the other hand, my son hasn’t bought a house but he has toured the world, twice! It’s all about priorities.

  31. SYZYGY

    @” 60 odd % is owned by British Pensions and Insurance companies”

    Don’t think so :-

    http://i2.wp.com/www.edmundconway.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/ukgovtdebt.jpg

    @”So in what sense is it a debt in the normal sense of the word?”

    In the sense that-like all other UK Gilts , it has to be repaid by the Treasury on its redemption date-and refinanced.

  32. @RMJ

    That sounds so very reasonable and magnanimous. Everyone’s the same. Pete’s already tried that line, so already you should know summat’s prolly up with it.

    Because of course, if it isn’t the case that it’s all much the same for everyone, that in fact one group has in fact been considerably advantaged, but wants to gloss over the fact, then it’s not magnimous at all.

    Given the distinct contrast in terms of things very significant things like full employment, house prices, energy and petrol prices, free tuition fees, housing subsidies in the eighties, etc. etc., it’s a bit of a stretch to call it evens.

    Oh and btw, plenty of younger people tell me they’re going travelling these days. Because there aren’t many decent jobs available so they go travelling instead…

  33. @Assiduosity

    Well I was still at school on a council estate when I hit ten years old. But to be honest one has to consider the possibility the curriculum has been quite often sub optimal, public or private, no matter who’s in charge. It would be interesting to see polling on the matter, and one suspects many parents might not be keen on some things. But whether they get to compare with summat really good is summat else. There’s a good reason Catman homeschools his kids…

  34. Assiduosity.

    Thanks for your post of 8.24pm in response to mine. I do indeed agree with most of your post. However, If you re-read my post of 6.48pm I made it quite clear that I was using the RPI figure in order to maintain the correlation between incomes and prices in 1968, to today. I specifically made the point that, happily we are all in fact much better off now as we have shared 50 years of growth. You have quoted detailed examples, with which I don’t disagree.

    I was attempting to demonstrate (not very well it seems) that it is too simplistic an argument to simply state as Carfrew frequently does, that the current generation have been robbed by the ‘boomers’. Their salaries are far higher now in real terms, than was the case in 1968 and they have far more disposable income than my generation did. Sure, a 10% elite got a free university education, but most didn’t, they left school at 15, or in my case, 18.

    So children of ‘boomers’, have far more choices than my generation did and they are better paid. That many choose to buy a new car at 21, or pay £700 for a phone, rather than use a £50 one, or travel the world in their 20’s, rather than save to buy a house, is their choice. I’m not stating one is right and one is wrong, merely that you live the life you do, due to the choices you make.

    I appreciate that property is the one thing which is less affordable now but I then gave examples of how youngsters got over this hurdle with the help of government schemes but without any assistance from parents.

    As RMJ1 says at 7.16, each generation faces different challenges and opportunities and it all boils down to individual priorities. That’s the wonderful thing about the free society we live in.

    I will not make any further post on the subject, much to Anthony’s relief, I suspect.

  35. Good morning all from a sunny Frome.

    BERT…

    I’m at my Granny’s house and I showed her your post on ol Corby.
    She said you have a big nose and if you want to go cherry picking on what people may have said or done then go get one of these.

    http://www.lufttrainingservices.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/Cherry-Picker-Training-Course.png?22dcb4

    Now moving on..Is it a day for taking the mountain bike up onto the Mendip hills or taking granny out in the car for a bit of wheel spinning and drifting at the Cheddar gorge?

    Have a lovely weekend peeps.

  36. @Robert Newark

    “I appreciate that property is the one thing which is less affordable now but […]”

    Maybe, but I’m not sure you appreciate the magnitude of what that means. When your very right of existence is compromised by the burden of extractive rentierism, all else pales. It’s not psychologically comparable to whether or not you can afford a consumer gadget.

    It should be a classic for Maslow’s hierarchy of needs: existing securely versus exercising your democratic right to vote. It’s easy to see why there might be a mechanism there in terms of differential impetus to vote/register to vote between generations. I doubt there would be much impact due to the *physical* difficulty of either.

  37. @Robert Newark

    “So children of ‘boomers’, have far more choices than my generation did and they are better paid. That many choose to buy a new car at 21, or pay £700 for a phone, rather than use a £50 one, or travel the world in their 20’s, rather than save to buy a house, is their choice. I’m not stating one is right and one is wrong, merely that you live the life you do, due to the choices you make.”

    I think you need to take your middle class goggles off. This is the sort of narrow and skewed view of the world much discussed in Home Counties golf club bars. Not all young people are Mummy Daddy funded gap year university students pondering expensive consumer choices and fretting over whether to buy a house or travel around the world.

  38. @”middle class goggles ”

    oooooh !

  39. I see more homeless young people in Bristol now. Living in tents, under skater’s ramps, derelict caravans. Will they be prioritizing voter registration?

  40. @Mark W

    “I see more homeless young people in Bristol now. Living in tents, under skater’s ramps, derelict caravans. Will they be prioritizing voter registration?”

    No, they’re probably deciding on which farmer to marry and what Government schemes are available to give a gap year student an even break and a decent chance in life.

    Something to ponder while enjoying a relaxing round of golf.

    Anyway, enough of this frivolity, I’m going to watch the rugger on the TV.

    :-)

  41. I always ask for Working Class Goggles to avoid the jeers & finger pointing in the street.

    They’re a bit monochrome-but cheap :-)

  42. What’s this peeps thing all of a sudden.

    Wiki gave me this;

    “Peeps; Marshmallow candies in the shape of rabbits and baby chickens.

    Great definition for lots of the public if you think they don’t engage with the issues, but is that what people mean?

    Peter

  43. “Are we proposing 10m new homes, or arguing for the government to set house prices?”

    Or fewer people given that supply and demand always comes as a pair.

  44. @Robert Newark

    “I specifically made the point that, happily we are all in fact much better off now as we have shared 50 years of growth. You have quoted detailed examples, with which I don’t disagree.”

    ————–

    You can keep pushing that meme but it flies in the face of reality. When housing is so expensive, and Essentials like energy, it dwarfs other things. There’s been growth but it gets hoovered upwards.

    Hence wages have only doubled for many while housing gone up by a factor of ten. Sticking to RPI and ignoring summat huge like housing costs is RISIBLE.

    Many people know this, it is so obvious to try and pretend otherwise is beyond comedy. And it’s part of the reason for the interest in the young in Sanders and Corbyn.

    Saying they have choices is also dodgy without taking into account access to those choices. For example travelling abroad because can’t find a proper job here. The rise in cheap-waged, insecure employment subsidised by tax credits is also off your radar.

    You think a phone, possibly bought by parents anyway, makes up for this? I’ve met people in their late twenties I couldn’t even send a pic to because they were nursing a phone so old.

    Your examples leave one wondering too. Paramedics are typically on £28k after seven years.

    You can always find exceptions. There weren’t too many people from a more working class background at my school. Doesn’t mean it was easy for everyone else.

    You might find some who still get on the ladder now. But that doesn’t mean it’s just as easy or that other things won’t be sacrificed, like pensions.

    There’s so much wrong with your argument, and quoting a mysterious anecdote about paramedics, or citing RPI, or phones, ain’t gonna fix.

  45. “I see more homeless young people in Bristol now. Living in tents, under skater’s ramps, derelict caravans. Will they be prioritizing voter registration?”

    ——————

    Apparently it?’s not a problem because peeps have more choices these days and use mobile phones.

  46. I think all this talk of affordability misses the point that millions of parents worry about their children being able to afford to get onto the housing ladder, even if they are lucky enough to own their own property.

    High house prices and rents suck money from the economy, so a correction that seems politically undesirable, might actually turn out to benefit the party in power. It just seems crazy that politicians on all sides want to inflate and maintain house prices

  47. @Popeye re 1968
    I don’t think such comparisons are very meaningful – circumstances very different – but (from memory)
    In 1968 we bought our first house – a new 3 bed semi in a north midlands village, price £4400.
    My recent graduate salary was around £1200 on an incremental scale which would have taken me to £2000 in a few years, even without promotion. (would have been perhaps 20% higher in London.) Just a bit above average pay in the area IIRC.
    The building society had a strict cap on mortgages at 3x gross salary with NO contribution from wife’s earnings allowed. We got on their list because I had a savings account with them since I was a baby – thanks to grandma. My wife earned slightly less than I did, just over £1000pa. We put all our savings (both in our late 20s) to cover the gap, and as we could live on my salary these could fortunately be replaced fairly quickly from my wife’s earnings until our first child arrived and she had to give up her job.
    We were also able to consider buying various 2-bed terraces for cash, around £1000, but needing renovation, or in areas not so suitable for raising a family.
    Interest rates were about 4%, but the oil price and inflation went through the roof a few years later and rates reached about 15%, but we sold that house for £22,000, buying a larger house for £35,000 which would have cost us nearly £7000 when we bought our first.
    I leave it to you to judge whether the swings and roundabouts made us better off than today’s equivalent couple. Our children certainly saw more of their mother than they would did she have a full-time job. We paid nought for child care, with no substantial help from our parents, in either cash or kind, as they also had mortgages and inflation to contend with, and did not live near.

  48. Dave,
    Be careful. Any comparison of then and now brings immediate accusations from some quarters of trying to replay the Four Yorkshiremen sketch.

  49. AW – Do you know when the next London Mayoral poll is due?

  50. @Dave

    “I leave it to you to judge whether the swings and roundabouts made us better off than today’s equivalent couple.”

    ————–

    It’s trivially easy, there’s no comparison. You have to cherry pick wildly, and even then it’s hopeless.

    A few years high interest rates is tricky, but easier to handle in an era when one could live on a single salary. If kids are at school your partner could go out to work to make up the difference. (Also you mention property prices going up but not how full emp!oyment meant wages went up too, albeit lagging a bit due to policies of wage restraint). Your work was much more secure, full employment kept wages higher, which is a huge deal you guys never mention. None of this zero contract bollox, essentials like energy were affordable, transport etc…. Important, essential stuff you never mention.

    You peeps always focus on the temporary issues of the Seventies, and gloss over the Eighties when boomers really cashed in. Very cheap property compared to wages, plus housing subsidies and mortgage interest tax relief, cheap privatisation shares etc.

    The difference between nowadays, with property increasingly out of reach for many – not just awkward for a few years – and those who do manage a deposit see much of their disposable income wiped out. No pensions, no slack in the system if anyone gets ill. More and more low-waged insecure employment even for graduates. No career path or pension. Even the fewer good jobs you increasingly need to be monied because now they’re internships where you pay to work.

    Set against all the advantages in the past what wonderful things have you got to benefit the younger? Interest rates were high for a bit… Versus housing being increasingly out of reach altogether? Full employment vs… Zero hours??? Free tuition versus going abroad because no prospects here? Good pensions versus… What? Privatisation shares and housing subsidy versus… What? The nebulous “more choices” of zero hours and mobile phones?

    You can cherry pick all you like but the difference is stark. And the trend is worse. Property even more out of reach, more zero hours, having to pay still more for opportunity. Headline the other day saying how already undergrad education becoming more expensive than in the States.

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