Budget 2015: The Real Stories
A week after George Osborne delivered his budget statement, young women from our advisory panel (a national group of women from different backgrounds who help shape the work of YWT), shared their thoughts and concerns with us.
Picture: Jeremy Selwyn
“At 16 I was forced to move out of home due to a massive falling out with my brother and being depressed as a result of being a young carer. At 16 you're cut off from youth services within social services, but not often offered 'adult' support. The job seekers allowance is already lower for under 25s, now they're facing more cuts to support. Young carers are a particularly disadvantaged group of young people who will suffer. Their families' benefits may be cut, and the support for them if they do decide to go out into the world on their own is vanishing.” Jenny, 23
“I am working full time on a salary around £30,000 with 2 children. My husband is unemployed due to childcare costs. After my rent is paid, household bills and kids classes are paid, I am left with more or less £150 a month. Hence I rely heavily on the child tax credit that I receive every week to pay for my travel and to put food on the plate! If this was taken away, I will become a mother who will not only struggle to go to work because I have no money left to travel, but I also would not be able to feed my children! Using the BBC’s budget calculator, I will be £727 worse off! I'm not only worried about me! I'm worried about fellow young parents who want to study! If this happened to me 6 years ago, 21, going to uni, new baby - I would have been homeless, with no degree and unemployed! I'm scared!” Sophie, 27
“This budget has worried me, a lot. I am currently lucky in that I have two jobs and am (more or less) managing to survive and pay my own way, finally, after growing up in poverty and battling with unemployment and low wages for several years as well as struggling through university even with the current levels of support. But I am worried for my friends who aren't so fortunate, the young people I work with and for, and for my future self. I have mental health issues which I have been managing, but if something changes and I find myself unable to work, or having to reduce the amount I am working, I will be right back where I was four months ago, probably even worse off.” Jenny, 23
“Being under 25, and in a low paid job, I am just one of the millions of people whose life is going to be impacted by the budget. The budget will hit the poorest and most vulnerable in society, and a pay rise for over 25’s only feels harsh for those of us who are under 25. The cuts to student grants also feel like a particularly strong attack on young people from poorer families.” Chloe, 22