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A lazy generation?

(77 Posts)
nanna8 Mon 25-Sep-23 06:22:23

On the radio just now they were interviewing an 18 year old boy who said his generation were the laziest ever and none of his friends wanted to work, just receive and spend their social security money. I was a bit surprised that a young bloke would say this and I haven’t actually seen this amongst my grandchildren but perhaps he is right. Any thoughts on this ?

Saggi Wed 27-Sep-23 15:42:16

The way things are going in this country this teenage generation will be working til they’re 75+ ….let them be lazy and have some fun if they can .

Quokka Wed 27-Sep-23 15:59:48

My grandson works 8 hour shifts at McDonalds at weekends and is studying for his A levels. Next door neighbour’s son finished Uni 3 years ago and is happy back living at home and doesn’t want a job.

Don’t think we can generalise.

AGAA4 Wed 27-Sep-23 16:08:59

There are lazy people in every generation not just the young. All my GCs are hard workers and have achieved because they are not lazy.
I have known some idle older people who have jobs but seen to get away with skiving.

aggie Wed 27-Sep-23 16:10:52

My Grandsons both spent months before their 16th birthday trawling the internet for jobs , youngest has just started in a clothing shop , eldest has had 3 different jobs , runs his own car and pays his Mum housekeeping ,
Their cousin worked for a year out in a shoe shop , now she is in a different city and at college , the shoe shop found her so useful they have found her a job in the nearest branch to her college
no laziness there

Doodledog Wed 27-Sep-23 18:02:43

AGAA4

There are lazy people in every generation not just the young. All my GCs are hard workers and have achieved because they are not lazy.
I have known some idle older people who have jobs but seen to get away with skiving.

Yes, ageism against the young is just as bad as against older people.

MercuryQueen Wed 27-Sep-23 18:08:13

I think part of what people are calling lazy is actually a lack of hope.

I have an 18 and 17 yo at home. They literally see very little hope for their futures, even though one of them already has their first trade certification and plans to pursue the next levels in college next year. The other isn’t sure what to do.

The cost of living has risen so badly that my adult kid pays more in rent for a shared apartment than I do for my mortgage. Literally, a room costs more than my house. Plus utilities.

What is there to motivate them? Student debt, for post secondary education? Not being able to afford a place of their own? Grocery prices that are still climbing?

It’s hard to work towards a future that seems unattainable.

Doodledog Wed 27-Sep-23 18:12:25

That's a very good point.

M0nica Wed 27-Sep-23 19:29:25

They are not the first generation to face these problems. My parents reached working age during the depression of the 1930s, the generation sandwiched between two wars, Saw their fathers and unckes die one war to be called up to be killed in the next.

My children grew up in the 1980s when whole industries across the country were closing down, I can remember DD saying what was the point of her getting O elvels when there was no work, she might as well leave as soon as possible and sign up for a YTS scheme.

Yet this generation are still much better off than their parents and grandparents were at their age. My daughter and son, now just into their 50s have paid their univerisuty debts off, own their own houses and haave good careers. It hasn't all been plain sailing but they have gritted their teeth and kept going.

It is what my parents did, career plans thrown away by the call up for war, and the need to start again afterwards.

Previous generations have faced the same gloomy prospects at 17/18 as today's generation but they got through in the end. possibly their childhoods were harder so they were used to hard knocks and soldiering on.

JaneJudge Wed 27-Sep-23 19:40:01

Monica, would they have had much student finance debt if they are in their 50s? I went to uni in the 00s and tuition fees were only introduced in 1998 and they were much lower than they are now. My one son's fees are £9,250 a year and his maintenance loan doesn't cover his rent so we have to top him up but the loans and costs are astronomical

rafichagran Wed 27-Sep-23 19:59:52

My Grandson is 18, got good GCSE results, did not want to go to University or do A levels He was offered a apprenticeship in engineering.
He is doing very well, earning money, learnt to drive within a couple of months of his 17th birthday, and doing all relevant qualifications. He is not lazy at all as was spoken about in the original post. I am very proud of him.

mabon1 Wed 27-Sep-23 22:31:26

Three of my grandchildren are grafters, the fourth is still a school.

M0nica Thu 28-Sep-23 08:02:03

janeJudge yes, their debts were lower, but they grew up with no expectation of having to pay fees or for their keep.

Today, fees have been around since before this generation were born, so fees are something families can plan for.

Yes, I know there are families and children that are so poor they can barely eat and live in cardboard boxes, but there are many more families where families are better off, where grandparents or parents can afford to put £50 a month aside - and do, remember Gordon Brown introduced £250 bounties for children at birth, with the overt intention of encouraging families to save for their chidren's future.

House prices are driven by supply and demand. If people cannot afford to buy them, their prices fall. That is happening now. We certainly do not have millions of unsold houses all over the country for years on end that no one can afford to buyso someone is buying them. I live in an area where thousands of new houses are built every year, many of them 4 and 5 bedroomed detached houses. Many of the jobs here are in high tech companies and research centres so most of the employees are graduates and presumably have loans to repay.

Life often looks gloomy and intimidating when one starts working.

When I married and DH and I bought our first terraced house, I looked at my parent's comfortable 4 bedroomed house and thought that DH and I would never be able to afford a house like theirs and how much easier they had it when they started out in life. 20 years later we had a similar.

I am not saying some people do find life difficult and will strugle all their lives, but that has alway been so and one does what one can to help them, but that this generation are worse off than previous generations, burdened by student debt and never to own their own houses, is unlikely to prove true. We will have to check when they reach 50.

karmalady Thu 28-Sep-23 08:18:54

Parents are the motivation, leading by example. Seeing them actually cook meals from scratch. Using whatever method to keep track of finances, seeing the belt tightening that comes with a difficult month ahead, again forseen by good money management

18 year olds need to be taught, that is what a good parent does, it is called parenting. If they see parents on benefits, perhaps wasting money, then what is there to teach them the way forward?

This generation are going to have a very difficult time in getting a home of their own, some will be waiting for inheritances and many do not have the vision to save, if they can. All they see is the population influx into uk, many more people and not the equivalent number of homes. Take that home-owning dream away from them and the aspiration may go with it as does hope

4allweknow Thu 28-Sep-23 08:55:29

They are out there. I have a step-grandson who has ADHD. Gets bored quickly but does graft when working mainly in manual positions. Recently said one of the workers (20 year old) was told not to come back as he was spotted by foreman lazing back against wall using his phone when he should have been working. Phones rule a lot these days apparentlya.a I know when I retired the amount of time the young members spent on their phones; trawling the internet or just congregating in the kitchen drove me mad.

Doodledog Thu 28-Sep-23 09:10:22

Homes are so expensive compared to salaries, and the cost of childcare is sky high too. The means-test based tax credit/UC system makes it more sensible for one parent (usually the mother) to work fewer hours and get a top up than to work full time. Similarly if either parent earns above the means-tested threshold (£50k?) child benefit is lost and the combination of that and the additional tax means that they are better off not being promoted or working overtime. It’s worse again over £100k as the personal tax allowance is lost too, but that will apply to very few young people.

We have become a low-wage economy and many people are on zero hours yet paying for childcare they might not need if they don’t get work on that day. Where is the incentive?

Of course it would be better for the economy if people were encouraged to work and pay taxes, and better for individuals to have career progression, paid-up pensions etc, but means-testing encourages the opposite. Those at the top are better off cutting their hours (how many GPs work part-time now?) or paying more into a pension (tax-efficient) and retiring early, taking their expertise with them. Those at the bottom are better off cutting their hours and claiming UC top-ups so they aren’t working to pay someone else to be with their children, and those in the middle lose the child benefit allowance so have to make that up at 40% tax before they see a penny of anything they earn over the means-test.

It’s bonkers. I don’t think young people are lazy, but the current system puts so many obstacles in the way of being financially comfortable that I can understand why some of them give up.

Oh, and we have an ageing population too, and the ponzi-scheme pension system to which many older people didn’t contribute means that the ‘economically active’ are supporting more and more older people on pension credit on top of all of that.

Get rid of means-tests, have universal pensions, childcare and child benefit paid out of universal taxation, and let people hang onto the fruits of their labour after that.

Sago Thu 28-Sep-23 09:11:56

I have a lot of friends whose children went to university then just worked in bars or tried to “make it” in a band.
Their parents bank rolled them.

We supported our three through university but told them that was it once they graduated they were on their own.

Two got god jobs before graduation, the third dropped out, came home and worked behind a bar whilst he figured out what to do, he cooked all our meals and did the gardening as we were both out at work.

He got a good job in finance and now works in the City for a merchant bank.

Our youngest had a gap year in India, he came home and had two temporary jobs in 48 hours, one in a phone shop and one in a restaurant, he slogged all summer so he went off to university with a lot of cash.

M0nica Thu 28-Sep-23 10:47:11

Doodledog I disagree. To begin with, show me a GP that works part time and qualifies for any means tested benefit. Most 'part time' GPs are actually working 35-40 hours a week, because they do paperwork and admin, in time when they are not meant to be working or are working very long days, perforce.

I have also yet to meet anyone who has chosen not to take promotion or a better job because they would lose benefits. My son and wife, simply did not apply for child benefit because they knew they probably would not get it.

You can hardly at one end of a post complain that old people and their state pensions are a drag on the market and at the same time tell us that younger people are saving more into pensions.

As for retiring early! More and more people over retirement age are staying in the work force, partly for the income partly because, with old people being so much healthier at retirement and retirement often lasting up to 3 decades, they want to keep in the world at work.. DH is 80 and still working.

Median(50% earn more, 50% earn less) weekly income is just under £30,000 a year and 40% earn in excess of £36,000 www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/bills/article-11894303/Where-does-income-Britains-earners.htm these are not the incomes of people reducing hours and curbing ambition in order to qualify for means tested benefits. Means tested benfits cut off at very low income levels, certainly not something to aspire to.

What do you mean people drawing pensions they did not contribute to. Pensions are NOT benefits. Your state pension is based on the contributions you made in Ni during your working life, occupational pensions likewise. That the govrnment in power when pensions were introduced chose to pay it year by year from tax income rather than invest the contributions is beyond the control of any pensioner and no working person can opt out of contributing to the state pension.

I can see that at the poverty/means tested benefit interface there may be a disincentive to work for some people, but for most people they are far better off with a job than not.

karmalady Thu 28-Sep-23 11:00:12

They were not always better off with a job, my parents for example, never once in their working lifetime did they claim benefits, other than family allowance. I remember them having to make do with a 6d in the family money pot. They would have been better off on benefits at times but they had their pride.They scraped by at times but not once, not ever, did they lose the aspirations that they gave to us children and we, all 7 became professional contributers to society. They did without so we could gain and that also meant via example

Doodledog Thu 28-Sep-23 11:10:17

To begin with, show me a GP that works part time and qualifies for any means tested benefit. Most 'part time' GPs are actually working 35-40 hours a week, because they do paperwork and admin, in time when they are not meant to be working or are working very long days, perforce.

But that's not what I said. I said that someone on £100k loses their personal tax allowance, so automatically becomes £12.5k worse off when they cross that threshold. After that, they are taxed at 45%. So I think it's something like £150k that is necessary before they break even and take home more than they were earning at £100k. To mitigate that, many go part-time, and/or pay excess into their pension schemes, which are not taxed. This means that the treasury is not getting the higher rate taxes anyway, so what is the point?

The child benefit thing is the same. Someone on £49k gets it, but someone on £50 doesn't, so that person loses £40 a week, or £2080 pa (tax free) straight away. They are also taxed more on every pound over £50k they earn, so have a long way to go to break even on the extra hours or promotion that took them over that means-test threshold.

I also didn't say that pensions are benefits. Pension credit is, however, and lots of people who are on that did not pay NI contributions, (or not enough). I am fully aware that one generation pays for the next - which is why I described it as a ponzi scheme - but at the time contributions are being made people are paying for education, health, defence etc for everyone, so freeing up money to be spent on pensions so it balances out. Reciprocity. When people don't contribute they are essentially getting a free ride on all of that, and younger people are paying for those who never contributed (reciprocally) before they got to pension age. I didn't blame pensioners either - I specifically blamed the system!

I also said that many people are better off working in the long term, but I would need to see evidence of at what point that becomes true for those who work part-time and get top ups (subtly different from benefits), which is what I was talking about. If you earn £10 and get another £10 in UC (obviously made-up figures) then you have £20. If you work full-time for the same £20 (or even £25) and have to pay childcare out of that (plus more for for bus fare and other work-related expenses) you are worse off, and not seeing your children as much as someone getting the top-ups. Why would you do it? Yes, your pension and promotion prospects are enhanced, but that benefits those in professional work far more than someone on minimum wage and a zero-hours contract, and not everyone can look to the future because they are too busy staying afloat in the here and now.

My figures are all rounded up or down, so are for illustration only, as I am not an expert, but I'm pretty sure the principle holds.

Oreo Thu 28-Sep-23 12:02:43

nanna8

On the radio just now they were interviewing an 18 year old boy who said his generation were the laziest ever and none of his friends wanted to work, just receive and spend their social security money. I was a bit surprised that a young bloke would say this and I haven’t actually seen this amongst my grandchildren but perhaps he is right. Any thoughts on this ?

Why are healthy 18 year olds getting social security money?

I don’t think it’s the case here, it’s either Uni or College or into work of some sort.

nanna8 Thu 28-Sep-23 12:27:14

Probably the dole money I suppose. I think once you are 18 you can get it here. Or they might have said they have ADHD and draw a disability pension. Not hard here.

biglouis Thu 28-Sep-23 13:29:32

I do think that many 18-year-olds today are not self-motivated, if their parents are then it seems that they are the ones who sort out the university process, book accommodation and even pack their stuff and transport them to university

hahaha read some of those threads on Mumsnet where the parents babysit their offspring all the way to uni. Constantly sending them money when they run out. I compare that with when I left home (age 22) and organized everything myself including completely kitting out an unfurnished flat and subsequently decorating it. Rather than helping out my parents were quite negative about my moving out as the loss of my salary left them short!

M0nica Thu 28-Sep-23 14:04:51

Doodledog I get your point, but quite simply I do not think that many people worry about these complicated drops caused by benefits. The majority of households do not contain children so the benefits cliff is irrelevant - and a lot of these benefits do efer to children.

As for pensioners, my experience with a charity for old people showed me that those who did not have a complete insurance record, were usually in that situation because they were stay at home mothers when there was no other choice or were ill, or carers, I never met anyone who sat at home eating grapes relaxing in the knowledge that they could live off the state when they reached old age, even though they never worked.

I think doodledog you are right about what people could do, but not about what they do do.

Doodledog Thu 28-Sep-23 14:50:13

I think doodledog you are right about what people could do, but not about what they do do.
Well I am right to say that none of the GPs in my surgery work full-time. None of them. And I have definitely heard younger people (online and off) say that it's not worth taking more hours as they will lose UC and have to pay for childcare. A friend of mine manages an admin office and struggles to get people to work overtime as it would have negative impact on their take home pay - it makes no sense.

I paid expensive childcare when my children were young. It was stressful and difficult, as of course I wanted to be with them, and at times I felt that it wasn't worth the stress and expense. There were no tax credits or childcare vouchers then, so I didn't have to do those sums, and I both wanted to earn my keep and to hang onto a job I'd worked towards for years, so plodded on. When they went to school things improved, although after school care is still stressful and not free. Things improved over the years though, and on balance it paid off overall. But I wasn't on a zero-hours contract, was in a job with obvious career progression, so I could look ahead and see that it was worth it to keep my pension up to date and gain salary increments. Someone cleaning or working on minimum wage pay not be able to think like that, so would keep her hours to the minimum.

Are the GPs or the admin staff lazy, or just balancing the books?

I'm not saying that pensioners were sitting eating grapes either - you really have put a lot of words into my mouth! My point is that young people - because of the system - are now paying for people who did not contribute towards the younger generation in their younger days (as well as for those who did) and that paying for them uses up a lot of the contributions they have taken from what are often already inadequate wages. Many are resentful, and don't see the point of earning more to pay more in tax/NI when services that they do use are being cut and such a lot goes to pensions and benefits. Is that lazy or pragmatic?

I am not advocating a cut in pensions or benefits. I am saying that the system is to blame, and that a fairer one would tax everyone (with a means by which one earner in a household could pay the tax of another if one wants to stay at home). We all benefit from living in a society that still has healthcare, a police service, free education to 18, defence, roads etc, so we should all contribute to that.

A fairer system would have no means-tests for benefits, or tax cliffs that earners can fall off, but a fair, adequate system of taxing both income and wealth that is enough to ensure that everyone gets help with things like childcare and pensions at different stages of their lives, and can choose to work more hours/take qualifications or more responsibility if they want to advance their careers without losing money. Child benefit should be universal, as should pensions, and they could be if we all contributed enough, with exceptions only for those who are unable to do so.

M0nica Thu 28-Sep-23 15:52:31

My point is that young people - because of the system - are now paying for people who did not contribute towards the younger generation in their younger days (as well as for those who did) and that paying for them uses up a lot of the contributions they have taken from what are often already inadequate wages. Many are resentful, and don't see the point of earning more to pay more in tax/NI when services that they do use are being cut and such a lot goes to pensions and benefits. Is that lazy or pragmatic?

But Doodledug nothing as changed. It was like that for our parents when they were young and earning, and us like wise and now our children, and when they grow old their children/grandchildren will be paying for them.

As I said before the number of people on these benefits cliffs are relatively few and the majority of their population are going about their businesses and careers taking promotion and studying for qualification without any regard for them.

As you will see from the figures I quoted several posts up the average wage of most people in this country means they qualify for few benefits anyway - and if you are childless and working - and even parents fall into this group for most of their working life, they are irrelevant.

By the way you do not lose all your personal tax allowance when you earn £100,000, you lose it £ by £ as your pay rises about that amount. So you will still see your salary rise, but not as much.

Doctors had a problem because of a change in pension lgislation that clashed with their pay and conditions and I beleive tat problem has now been sorted out. Most GPs work part time because of the stress of their work and to stop burnout. There salary is high enough for them to indulge in this luxury that many other workers would love to be able to afford.