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Sancho Panza

Middle-Class Parents 'convinced Children Will Be Worse Off Than Them'

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Telegraph 13/1/14

'Almost half of middle class parents now fear that their children will be worse off than they are, a stark new assessment of family life Britain is to warn. The report due to be launched this week by Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, concludes that parents are more pessimistic now than at the height of the recession.

It shows that a growing majority of people are convinced that family life is harder than it was 20 years ago.

And the report, compiled by the charity 4Children, highlights how middle class parents are more fearful for their children's future even than those from the most disadvantaged backgrounds.

It echoes a warning in a report by the Coalition's social mobility tsar, Alan Milburn, the former Labour Health Secretary, that many children growing up now will have a lower standard of living than their own parents because of the costs of living and issues such as exclusion from the property market.

Mr Milburn and his deputy, Baroness Shepherd, the Conservative former Education Secretary, said the current generation of children could be the first for at least a century not to be better off than the one before.

The new report will argue that modern Britain – from its workplaces to its public spaces – has failed to keep up with sweeping changes in family life in recent decades.

It is expected to set out a list of demands for politicians ahead of the next election to make life in Britain more "family friendly".

Proposals will deal with issues such as childcare and protections for cherished public spaces such as parks as well as ideas such as special support networks for grandparents who now shoulder an increasing share of childcare.

Polling for the report found that 52 per cent of adults believe that family life now is more difficult than 20 years ago. When the same question was asked five years ago, less than half said they thought life had got more difficult.

Among parents, the proportion saying that family life has got tougher was almost six out of 10.

Meanwhile more than a third of parents said they thought their children would be less well off then themselves with only a quarter convinced the next generation would fare better.

But when the results were broken down by social background, those whose incomes were judged to be average or higher were almost twice as likely to believe their children would be worse off than they were to expect them to enjoy a better standard of living.

Overall 42 per cent of those in the group were pessimistic about their children's chances against only 22 per cent who were hopeful.

Among those on lower-than-average incomes, only 37 per cent were pessimistic while 25 were hopeful.

Wales and the North West of England had the most pessimistic parents while those in Northern Ireland were the most hopeful.'

Edited by Sancho Panza

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Wales and the North West of England had the most pessimistic parents while those in Northern Ireland were the most hopeful.'

Hmm, I wonder what has happened in NI that has not happened in Wales and England?

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.....depends what is meant by worse off.....are parents only better off materially because of the debt they have been used to living on?....if so that is not real living improvements. it is stealing from the future to live a better life today......there are more of us having fewer children due to fewer choices and greater expense, debt and the high cost of living has forced many would be mothers into the workplace to help repay high housing debt, rents and pay taxes......therefore fewer assets to be shared amongst fewer children.......fewer well paid viable, secure jobs about with good benefits therefore less savings and investments, planning for anything becomes very difficult/uncertain.

If we do have to reduce our expectations if only to live within our means with less waste in good safe communities that can only be a good thing not bad.....extra stuff bought with debt that is not needed does not make anyone better off. ;)

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.....depends what is meant by worse off.....are parents only better off materially because of the debt they have been used to living on?....if so that is not real living improvements. it is stealing from the future to live a better life today......there are more of us having fewer children due to fewer choices and greater expense, debt and the high cost of living has forced many would be mothers into the workplace to help repay high housing debt, rents and pay taxes......therefore fewer assets to be shared amongst fewer children.......fewer well paid viable, secure jobs about with good benefits therefore less savings and investments, planning for anything becomes very difficult/uncertain.

If we do have to reduce our expectations if only to live within our means with less waste in good safe communities that can only be a good thing not bad.....extra stuff bought with debt that is not needed does not make anyone better off. ;)

It's not about having less stuff and living a humble but happy life. The combination of falling real wages and rising house prices killed off the Good Life a long time ago. If a couple is spending more hours working and commuting just to cover the basics then they have less time to spend with family and friends or carry on with a hobby, less energy to buy proper food and cook from scratch, and higher stress levels so they are less pleasant to be around.

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It's not about having less stuff and living a humble but happy life. The combination of falling real wages and rising house prices killed off the Good Life a long time ago. If a couple is spending more hours working and commuting just to cover the basics then they have less time to spend with family and friends or carry on with a hobby, less energy to buy proper food and cook from scratch, and higher stress levels so they are less pleasant to be around.

I don't disagree with that......sometimes working hard for a finite period of time knowing that there will eventually be a light at the end of the tunnel can make sense and works......what we have today is a never ending unknowing, that is what makes for greater insecurities imo. ;)

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Funny thing is, this is deja-vu all over again.

I recollect in the 1980s, a lot of then-middle-aged people saying they wouldn't like to be young again, and face the pressures on young people.

Your quote refers to 20 years ago: the '90s, which were probably a cyclical high point to be young. Couldn't say what the then-middle-aged thought, as I was out of the country.

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Hmm, I wonder what has happened in NI that has not happened in Wales and England?

Such a shame the article is not accepting comments... Your observation is spot on.

Edited by DeepLurker

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It's not about having less stuff and living a humble but happy life. The combination of falling real wages and rising house prices killed off the Good Life a long time ago. If a couple is spending more hours working and commuting just to cover the basics then they have less time to spend with family and friends or carry on with a hobby, less energy to buy proper food and cook from scratch, and higher stress levels so they are less pleasant to be around.

Agree with this 100%. Rents are completely extortionate; house "prices" are a scandal - driven up by the Greatest Ponzi/Pyramid Fraud in All History.... -- I am constantly, constantly AMAZED that the young don't - IN THEIR MILLIONS - organise themselves and DEAL WITH THIS:

They should use their social networks - and IN THEIR MILLIONS lie down in the streets of Westminster & the City - - PEACEFULLY - causing NO DAMAGE -- and DEMAND that the Banksters go on trial - and then to prison for 25 years --- for deliberately and FRAUDULENTLY fixing house "prices" as a Giant Ponzi Scam -- They did this with their so-called "Financial Instruments" -- MORTGAGE BACKED SECURITIES - -they have set up the whole FRAUD MACHINE that is PREDATORY LIAR LOANS --- THE GREATEST FRAUD IN ALL HISTORY --- It is UNBELIEVABLE how they have got away with this!!!

Why, WHY, WHY can't people see what has happened????

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I don't disagree with that......sometimes working hard for a finite period of time knowing that there will eventually be a light at the end of the tunnel can make sense and works......what we have today is a never ending unknowing, that is what makes for greater insecurities imo. ;)

Yes.

In the 60s or 70s, if you got your head down and worked hard you'd get the 3 bed semi with a new car, get the kids educated even through Uni and have a pension. Might not be easy, but you'd have the chance.

Try it now.

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The Coalition's unstated policy of financial repression can only work by extracting wealth from the middle-classes - they are the only cohort with a viable surplus. The rich possess the legal means to evade the Treasury's clutches, while the poor will remain poor come what may.

Lube up, suckers. This really is going to hurt.

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I think it is because people over the years people believe that the state will always protect them/care for them, not only as a temporary safety net but for their entire life very often......a rich country will always see their subjects have their basic needs looked after, why rock the boat......how truly rich are we really?... will we always have the means and ability to care for those that either can't or are unwilling to try a bit harder?.....do we have enough work or companies that will pay enough for all working aged citizens to be totally independent from state subsidies? :rolleyes:

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Yes.

In the 60s or 70s, if you got your head down and worked hard you'd get the 3 bed semi with a new car, get the kids educated even through Uni and have a pension. Might not be easy, but you'd have the chance.

Try it now.

I agree that the rewards are less easy to come by now.

You mention about the kids getting through Uni being an extension of this reward. I do wonder who is being indulged when it comes to the kids going to University. Is it the kids getting a fun rite of passage or the parents living their own aspirations through their kids. Either way, loading up with debt and postponing adult life increasingly gets harder to justify and makes those rewards which their parents received even more unobtainable.

Edited by crashmonitor

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The penny has dropped ,these very same parents were shouting from the roof tops that their house is worth £xxxxxxx 8-10 years ago but their children were probably toddlers then ,now ten years of so down the line it has just dawned on them their children have not got a chance of having a place of their own ,and these very same parents will blame anyone and everyone for the predicament their children are in when in reality they were in part, the cause of those problems

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Agree with this 100%. Rents are completely extortionate; house "prices" are a scandal - driven up by the Greatest Ponzi/Pyramid Fraud in All History.... -- I am constantly, constantly AMAZED that the young don't - IN THEIR MILLIONS - organise themselves and DEAL WITH THIS:

They should use their social networks - and IN THEIR MILLIONS lie down in the streets of Westminster & the City - - PEACEFULLY - causing NO DAMAGE -- and DEMAND that the Banksters go on trial - and then to prison for 25 years --- for deliberately and FRAUDULENTLY fixing house "prices" as a Giant Ponzi Scam -- They did this with their so-called "Financial Instruments" -- MORTGAGE BACKED SECURITIES - -they have set up the whole FRAUD MACHINE that is PREDATORY LIAR LOANS --- THE GREATEST FRAUD IN ALL HISTORY --- It is UNBELIEVABLE how they have got away with this!!!

Why, WHY, WHY can't people see what has happened????

Eric you are falling behind the times and need to incorporate the government's Help to Lie schemes as they are in on this fraud too.

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Eric you are falling behind the times and need to incorporate the government's Help to Lie schemes as they are in on this fraud too.

Yup --- True, true....... It is simply UNBELIEVABLE that a "Conservative" party - a party of the so-called "Free Market" - can come up with this complete turd of an idea....... UN-F*CKING-BELIEVABLE!!! :angry:

Edited by eric pebble

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The penny has dropped ,these very same parents were shouting from the roof tops that their house is worth £xxxxxxx 8-10 years ago but their children were probably toddlers then ,now ten years of so down the line it has just dawned on them their children have not got a chance of having a place of their own ,and these very same parents will blame anyone and everyone for the predicament their children are in when in reality they were in part, the cause of those problems

Nah, it is cognitive dissonance, the penny has dropped that their house isn`t worth anything like they thought, so pretending that their kids will "never afford a home" just keeps the fantasy going that bit longer.

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You mention about the kids getting through Uni being an extension of this reward. I do wonder who is being indulged when it comes to the kids going to University. Is it the kids getting a fun rite of passage or the parents living their own aspirations through their kids. Either way, loading up with debt and postponing adult life increasingly gets harder to justify

I hear this a lot. Dependent on the subject, university is not an easy life. Its not some indulgence of 3+ years of partying before you have to get around to growing up. Degree level subjects are hard. Full time courses are actually full time and more.

You do plenty of hard working decent young people a disservice when you dismiss the hardest thing they will ever likely do as 'a fun rite of passage'. The opportunities it *can* bring are a privilege and the experience itself has plenty of positive aspects to it but the rewards do not come from getting drunk.

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I hear this a lot. Dependent on the subject, university is not an easy life. Its not some indulgence of 3+ years of partying before you have to get around to growing up. Degree level subjects are hard. Full time courses are actually full time and more.

You do plenty of hard working decent young people a disservice when you dismiss the hardest thing they will ever likely do as 'a fun rite of passage'. The opportunities it *can* bring are a privilege and the experience itself has plenty of positive aspects to it but the rewards do not come from getting drunk.

they certainly don`t come from hard work either by the looks of it

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Yup --- True, true....... It is simply UNBELIEVABLE that a "Conservative" party - a party of the so-called "Free Market" - can come up with this complete turd of an idea....... UN-F*CKING-BELIEVABLE!!! :angry:

You're showing your age there. Today's tories have abandoned Thatcher and embraced NuLab. They don't understand the meaning of freedom nor of markets, and anyone who does is kept in their place.

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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/ed-miliband/10568830/Ed-Miliband-only-Labour-can-rebuild-our-middle-class.html

Here's Ed making a case for Labour's unique ability to "rebuild the middle class".

Despite the jist of it being about erosion of living standards brought about by higher costs, almost none of the article is devoted to the single biggest expense every household has to confront, housing. Yup, Ed reckons it'll be ok if a couple of hundred can be taken off energy bills.

Nowhere is the phrase "house prices are too high and must drop".

Remember kids:

"No one saw this protracted squeeze on the middle coming".

Edit incidentally Ed says that his shadow Housing Minister, Emma Reynolds, set out how Labour would solve housing issues. It seems to have received little publicity.

Edited by The B.L.T.

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Nah, it is cognitive dissonance, the penny has dropped that their house isn`t worth anything like they thought, so pretending that their kids will "never afford a home" just keeps the fantasy going that bit longer.

Alternatively, they didn't comprehend what was going on or what the consequences would be, and genuinely thought they were going to be handing on a better world to their kids.

Do you have children? I find the notion that a vast number of boomers would deliberately cannibalise their own kids an odd notion.

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Alternatively, they didn't comprehend what was going on or what the consequences would be, and genuinely thought they were going to be handing on a better world to their kids.

Do you have children? I find the notion that a vast number of boomers would deliberately cannibalise their own kids an odd notion.

No, its the same sort of response you get when the majority of people think they are better than average drivers. Its just not possible.

Its touched upon in the book jilted generation, people put an unexplained increase in value on their possessions. I think the example came from research about something as mundane as a mug.

Its easy to believe that your house is worth 'a lot' because you are special. You're clever hard working financially savvy etc and your housing wealth is your reward. Your children are priced out because of the others in the system not you. You're worth it.

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I worry about the Boomer bashing on this site. I'm not (quite) a boomer - but we shouldn't be blaming a particular generation - we should be blaming our Governments for allowing/enabling this situation.

People complain about someone who bought a house at £40k twenty years ago selling it for the market rate of £300k now. It's a ridiculous increase in price, I agree. But what is the seller supposed to do? This house represents twenty years of his/her life and earning power, which will never come back. If he sells the property at a reasonable price - say £80k, or whatever - how is he going to afford another house? Absolutely EVERYONE would have to agree to sell their houses at much less than the price they can get on the open market, and BUYERS would have to agree not to outbid each other buy calling up bigger loans, BOMAD, couples using their combined earning power, etc.

Most people have only one house - they have to make enough on the sale of the previous house to fund the purchase of the next one - unless they are downsizing. And if they are downsizing, they probably have their old age to consider plus possible ill-health and their children's inheritance. They may, of course, need to release equity to help their children buy their own houses/flats. It's a vicious circle. Everyone suffers apart from the taxman and the buy-to-letters.

I think this situation is mostly due to de-regulation of credit (the Government's fault); increase in population due to immigration (the Government's fault); and lack of house-building. Feminism, longer life-spans, and divorce have probably also played a part. It's a mess. Ultimately, it's all our fault for not insisting on good leadership.

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