BBC Two's Newsnight and Radio 1's Newsbeat have teamed up to look at how the election and the parties' polices affect older and younger voters. With Kirsty Wark and Jonathan Blake.
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in the Palace of Arts in Exhibition Park.
Half the audience is over 60 and half is under 30.
How different is life for them and how divided are they over
Tonight, a Newsbeat Newsnight special on the generation gap,
the world of work, a chance to study without huge debt, the likelihood
of owning a home, the kind of country you want to live in,
are the younger and older generations worlds apart,
and which of the parties offers the best deal?
Joining us in Newcastle, 70 people and seven politicians
and our resident fact checker, number cruncher, from the
Resolution Foundation, Thorsten Bell.
Are we right, is there a generational divide?
I think everyone agrees there is a generational divide,
and the hard job for politicians is pursuing that gap,
because they need votes from the young and the old.
All right, so, we know that there is an issue, so,
what is government's priorities? First, let's hear how the government
spends our money and who benefits. Meet Betty Boomer
and Millennial Matt. She was born in the post-war years,
grew up listening to the Beatles and the Beach Boys,
and got her first smartphone He doesn't remember a time
before wireless internet. and graduated during
the financial crisis. Betty is part of a generation
who hold more wealth than the entire A group which is more
than twice their size. But who is getting
more from the state? The government has increased
the health budget. You might think that this
benefits everyone. But two fifths of NHS spending
is spent on those over 65. An 85-year-old Betty will cost
the NHS seven times more than Matt. it isn't just that the government
is spending different amounts It is also protecting
policies which Betty The triple lock, which is designed
to make sure pensions continue to rise and Betty's benefits have
been protected In fact, there has been an 8.1% rise
in pension benefits since 2007-2008. In contrast, since 2009, working age
benefits have fallen by 10%. Joining us tonight, an audience
of over 60s and under 30s. And politicians from all the main
parties are here, too, so I'm going to ask politicians
first, do you accept there is a generational divide
and you should be doing something to solve it?
Certainly it's a challenge, the two things you have got to do,
you have to have a strong economy, and since 2010, we have seen
3,000,000 new jobs created. That's hugely important
for the young people here. But also to create the revenue,
both to invest in 3 million new apprenticeships but also to
raise the state pension by ?1250, which we have managed to do...
I'm afraid that is over 20 seconds(!)
So I'm moving on, to Labour. From Labour, do you accept that
there is a divide but actually you have the responsibility to make
sure that each person is treated fairly in the divide?
Both young and old have been failed by the Tory government,
but the truth is, given that this is the first generation that looks
set to be poorer than its parents, clearly there is a divide.
And it is up to government, the Labour government,
to make sure that we see we are stronger together and we are
for the many, not the few. Liberal Democrats.
How do you characterise that divide? Well, I am always struck by an old
quote I remember, "Times are hard, the young don't respect the old."
I say old because that was said by Cicero, in the first century,
I say old because that was said by Cicero, in the first century,
if there is a generational divide, it has always been here.
It is up to politicians to offer policies to ameliorate that,
restoring housing benefits for the under 21s and triple lock.
We are going to talk about policies, you accept there is a divide,
you have a responsibility, now moving to the SNP.
How does the SNP plan to address that divide?
Well, in the SNP, we don't want there to be a generational gap,
we want to have intergenerational fairness, we believe the way to do
that is to reject Conservative austerity agenda and invest
in public services and people. Let's hear from Ukip now,
because David Kirton, you have a different view.
What problem exists between the generations?
I wouldn't use the word divide but there is different needs
between the older generation and the younger generation,
what I think is the main issue we need to address is everyone
is talking about the skills gap, we certainly haven't been training
young people with the skills they need, particularly
technical skills. Where do you see the
divide hurting most? There is a divide within
generations. Over 1 million pensioners
in poverty, if you are 16 years old, minimum wage of ?4 an hour,
if you're older, maybe ?7 an hour work,
the question we fundamentally have do ask, who is the economy for,
there is enough money to not have this generational divide at all.
Where do you see the divide hurting most?
There is a divide, but I would say, a lot of the issues that
are important to young people are important to old people as well.
We advocate an approach that gives care to those people that have
paid in over the years, as they look back on it,
and add altered that has been one of relative prosperity and giving
hope at the same time to a generation that
for the first time in many generations without hope.
-- as they look back on an adult hood.
We have heard just about enough from the politicians for now(!)
Let's get to the audience before time ticks away from us.
You are going to tell us about your experience in foster care. From my
experience in foster care, you can very clearly see the impact of
austerity and cuts. Social workers are absolutely overstretched with
caseloads that are not manageable anymore, two of my social workers
had to leave the profession work is the amount of stress that was forced
on them by the nature of their jobs. They are the forgotten kids. They
are not really given a voice. There needs to be a lot more done to
support them, especially with mental health. That is a massive issue. Do
you think younger people get enough help from the government, present
government or previous governments, in terms of the money that you pay
in taxes coming back to help? Absolutely not, I would say that our
generation have greater mental health issues, I think that is a
massive issue that affects us, more so than the other generations. Also
massive stigma around it. The cuts to the NHS are resonating deeply,
and they are breaking people, it is political policy that kills people.
Anyone got a different view on a different benefit they have received
from the government? I was not sure about the personally, the main thing
I would like to put forward as regards benefits and state and young
people, first of all, I've got to speak faster, I'm sorry, first of
all I would like to say I do not believe the young... I have been
through the mill of mental health, I don't believe the young have any
worse... Have it any worse than past generations. I have seen so much
mental illness as a volunteer in care homes. I myself suffer from
manic depression. I would like to make it quite clear that I don't
feel that, whilst the young may feel hard done by, I don't think it
should be a competition. But the danger is, let's talk to the Liberal
Democrats, it turns into a competition, a lot of people feel
that the elderly are over served, and if you look at the figures, the
younger generation are getting less correspondingly? I think that is
true, looking at the things the previous generations have had in
terms of house prices, free education grants, the rest of it,
and the older generation look at young people with baffled amazement.
I don't think we can talk too much about Liberal Democrats and free
education, frankly, right now. LAUGHTER
I think there are things that are very clear, Dominic, that you have
in the past very clearly said, we, the older generation, inclined to
vote more. So let's make sure that the older
generation is well served, and then you had an issue
with your manifesto on the triple lock and suddenly it
wasn't going to be quite so rosy for pensioners.
And they are not very happy about it.
And Kirsty, there are no easy decisions here.
On top of having a strong economy, which I mentioned before,
which pays the revenue, we have talked about the wish
list of things we want, but they have to be paid for,
and on top of that, you have to take difficult decisions.
One of the things we have had to do is take difficult decisions in
relation to some of those benefits. Equally, we have cut
the government deficit, the difference between how much is
brought in and how much it spends, by 100 billion,
we opposed every inch of the way. Spending on education,
look at the statistics, spending on education
is going to fall... Kirsty, Kirsty, we have taken the
difficult decisions for two reasons, one,
we don't think the 100 billion should be left in debt and taxes
for all the young people here. And, two, so that we can invest more
in education, we have 3 million more apprenticeships,
1.8 million more kids going to schools that are good
or outstanding compare to 2010. Who wants to come back at Dominic.
The Tories often talk about good schools as if there is some decide
where there is good schools and bad schools,
and it speaks to the policy they have on grammar schools.
They are designing a two tier system in education that will see the kids
in the poor backgrounds fall behind, and the kids in the more affluent
backgrounds get better, that is iniquitous.
That is why the Liberal Democrat people premium, which we brought
in in coalition, has seen the attainment gap close,
we want to sustain that. My view is that there is definitely
a generational divide in my experience,
I went to university, not only did I not have
to pay tuition fees, I was given a grant!
So that I could live, I could pay my rent and go
out and enjoy myself. I came down here with no
debt, got a job, one of five that was offered
to me, quite easily! I then got a house, easily bored,
for three times what I was earning. Today, the same house would cost
ten times what someone in the same position as me
would be earning today. That is ten times
against three times. We will come into housing.
He is rubbing it in. I came in under the ?9,000
a year scheme, I get a maintenance loan and a grant,
I'm one of the lucky ones, really. In terms of recent students coming
in aren't getting grants at all. In particular, nursing students.
Which is inherently unfair and leaving them in even more debt.
When I think about the amount I'm going to accumulate,
it is in the 40,000s. It's very difficult
to manage sometimes. The problem is not necessarily
with tuition fees, it's more of a housing issue as well.
We will come to that. Let me bring in the SNP. The SNP's position is
that the triple lock will stay, and also, there will be no means tested
fuel allowance, and in Scotland you also do not have tuition fees, and
the economy is not doing as well as in the other parts of the United
Kingdom, so a situation where there is not endless pots of money. Why
can you say, actually, a proportion of these people in here over 60 can
afford to pay fuel allowance and do not need as much in their pension as
8% increase, why not even it out? In the long term, these guys will not
be able to pay for it. There certainly is not an endless pot of
money and anyone who suggested that would be wrong but what you can have
is different priorities. In Scotland, the Scottish Government is
investing in education from the point of preschool years, we have 16
hours free childcare for three and four-year-olds every week. Plus the
most vulnerable to-year-olds. We have free school meals. We are
investing ?120 million in a pupil equity funds to close the attainment
gap, and of course, we have free education... Free higher education
which saves ?27,000 a year... Labourer, you're going to help the
under 30s when they have kids, by providing free childcare. If that is
a policy for the younger generation it will cost the earth. Jeremy
Corbyn this morning could not cost it. Did not know how much it would
cost. I do not think the most important quality in a Prime
Minister is to memorise the balance sheet. It will cost ?5 billion. That
is an embarrassment for all generations. For young parents who
know having good quality childcare enables them to go up to work and
contribute to the economy. But grandparents acting as carers,
they're taking it up. This liberates younger and older. And most
importantly, and this is the difference between us and the
Conservatives, they see all public services as some kind of money sink.
This enables our economy to be stronger and better because we have
well cared for children and parents who can contribute to the economy.
That is why we are investing in it. You want to come in on that?
I would like to say there is a whole group of women who are finding it
difficult to take up those caring responsibilities now.
A group of women born in the 1950s, expecting to retire at 60.
Not getting their pension when they expected it.
Not being informed of the change in their age.
They would love to be looking after their grandchildren,
they're having to continue to work and because they are working,
they may be contributing to paying taxes, but they are unable to make
that wonderful contribution of looking after their grandchildren
and helping with childcare. So clearly a divide
within that issue itself between the generations.
But what about the divide in the workplace?
We've grown used to the idea that our children's lives will be
easier than our own. But is that true for
Millennial Matt and his friends? If we look at this graph,
we can see that earnings have increased year on year since Betty
was a girl. Until the financial crisis in 2008.
Everyone was hit hard. But the youngest were hit hardest.
Matt has experienced a 12% real pay fall whereas Betty's
went down just 3.7%. This means that Matt is ending
?8,000 less in his 20s than his parents did.
For the first time ever, he cannot expect to be better off
than his mum and dad. Partly this is because annual pay
increases have gone down while the cost of living
has gone up. In other words, he has less money
coming in and more going out. The typical annual real pay increase
for employees has fallen from a healthy 4% when Betty
was in her 20s too close to zero today for Matt.
Perhaps this explains why a quarter of adults still needed help
from the Bank of Mum and Dad by the age of 35.
Let's now talk about inequalities at work and concerns people have
about jobs and being worse off than the generation before.
Do you worry about being worse off than your parents or grandparents?
I do in a way. I do feel worse off because I feel
I think Labour have caused us to be in dire straits with the economy
because of the spending they did in their previous government.
It has left us with a poorer future. Who is worried about that here?
Lots of people worried about debt. What are your concerns about debt
and not actually being able to save? I graduate this year,
I will be ?27,000 in debt. I'm going to move home,
I have not got prospects of a job and I'm finding it difficult to get
on the housing ladder. It is pretty bleak.
It is worrying me and I do not think, I do not blame older people,
but I'm jealous of the benefits they have had.
That is interesting because this young woman is jealous
of the benefits that you have all had in your lives.
Do you think you have had it better than the younger
generations are having today? Tell me why you think you do.
We did not have tuition fees, we had grants.
We could easily find a job. And we can get back there, I think
with the Labour Party policies, and having growth and investment,
we can get back to that. Gentleman in the background?
I also think it is quite an issue that the kinds of jobs that young
people are now being offered involve them in sort of arrangement
like zero hours contracts, having to work well below their actual
expectations after university. In order to actually even get
a permanent long-term job. I feel that is quite unfair.
What expectations do you have of your working career?
The research says that actually you are much less likely
to see your earnings increase because you're going to be too
scared to move jobs. You're going to be worried about
moving jobs, worried about job insecurity.
I wonder does anyone actually have an ISA,
even a private pension for example, they are paying into?
Gentleman at the back has a private pension.
Anyone else like to talk about their concerns
about the world of work? Heather, I should come
to you straightaway because you are about to be starting
mental health nursing and you reckon 60,000
is what it is going to cost you. Yes.
I do not come from a well-off background.
I have been saving for quite a few years to put
towards my university fees. But when I graduate it will be
towards the ?60,000 mark. I'm going into mental health nursing
so working for the NHS, that in itself scares me.
Given the direction it is going in right now.
And I am worried I'm going to spend so much money on this education,
will I even get a job at the end of it as a qualified nurse,
will I even be able to provide for my future family?
A theme emerging I think on this side of the room about low wages,
low expectations in terms of the careers you can
hope to go on to do. Dominic from the Conservatives,
things are looking grim for this half of the room at the moment,
there is no denying that. I think grim is wrong,
I think which can be optimistic about the future.
But it is difficult I think for this generation.
We cut youth unemployment from the 20% we inherited to 12%.
And we have left the average basic rate taxpayer,
low and middle income earners, with ?1000 more in their pockets.
We have introduced the national minimum wage.
I think a big issue is housing. We have seen 300,000 more
affordable homes built. But we are ambitious
to build even more. But there is no getting away
from the basic fundamentals, you need a strong economy to deliver
the jobs and investment. Let me come in here, Dominic keeps
talking about a strong economy but you never ask the question
who is the economy for. The fact is the Conservatives have
cut corporation tax, that is a tax on the profits
of big corporations. Since 2010.
To the point where we could perhaps be getting 20 million,
?20 billion a year, 8 billion of which could pay for Heather's
tuition fees, another 12 billion could go into actually providing
those decent jobs and investing. It doesn't have to be this way.
You have a whole bank of people over 60 wanting in here on this.
On the question of jobs, job security, pay and so forth.
Gentleman in the front. Do you think that actually you have
had it a lot better than this generation?
No, I have been through the world of work now since I was 16.
I have not been in a single job for more than three years.
I have not got a pension, I have had to, towards the end
of this I have been better paid so I bought a flat to rent out,
to use as my pension. And thank you again
to the Conservatives for taking tax off me because they have changed
the tax rules on renting. Do you think this generation has
got to harden up a bit and take it on the chin?
There is part of that. But also I think they were sold down
the river with the tuition fees for universities.
Because they were promised that those tuition fees would never
be shown as being part of their loans and debt.
As part of the older generation, would you have been prepared to pay
more tax to make sure this generation had a free
university education? I'm already doing that.
Yes. Hands up how many would be prepared
to pay a little more tax, the radio is listening in here,
and it is a full house. I would like to say practically
every person over 60 says they would be prepared to pay more
tax, a hypothecated tax, to have young people going to college
and university free. The gentleman with the purple
shirt in the background. This is the difficulty,
you're talking about strong economy but most of these people are not
even going to be able to engage in that strong economy
because they're not going to be able to earn a living wage,
they're not going to be able, they will be weighed down by huge
amount of debt. It is just ridiculous.
You're not even going to be to earn a living wage.
Gentleman here. I worked part-time along
with my undergraduate degree, I'm now doing a masters degree
so in total I will have about ?60,000 worth of student debt.
Which is unbelievable. The Tories will tell you you do not
have to pay it back until you earn over 21 grand and that is fine.
But the reality is there is no incentive for me to want to earn
over 21 grand because I'm never going to pay more than
the interest I am accumulating. So you are stuck?
He is stuck? I do not know, it is
a personal situation. But he is telling you.
I understand. I did a masters and I had to pay
towards my fees for my masters at that stage and I know
it is difficult. But we also need the younger
generation to think about the choices they are making
and see whether it is worth while for them.
Do you think it is worth someone going to university to come out
with ?60,000 worth of debt, and not have the possibility
of having a job in anything like that income bracket?
I would say I want to go into academia and near
enough all the Ph.D. stipends are EU funded.
The government said it is going to replace the funding we will lose
from leaving the EU but do I believe that?
Do I believe the 350 million for the NHS?
This is probably a good time to go to independent expert Torsten
Bell. Is it with these guys even bothering to go to university,
forking out for those tuition fees, if they live in England,
for the wages that they are going to earn in their various careers?
Everyone would prefer not to have tuition fees or fees
for anything you are doing. There is a big difference
between the world that a lot of people here have been talking
about when they went to university because only five
or 10% of the population went to university.
25 year olds now have a third of them will have gone to university.
We do need to be careful because lots of the older generation
did not go to university, they did not all get free grants.
So yes the small numbers that did go to university got good jobs.
If we look at the employment practices, the level of employment
amongst those older generations, far fewer of them had unemployment
than the young people today. Man in the front row.
Starting out on a career, we had good support,
we had reasonable wages, we had free education and we worked
hard, every bit as hard as you guys are working,
but we got rewards for it. And that is what is missing
for this generation. And it is a tragedy.
The Labour Party say they want to put up a living wage
to ?10 an hour by 2020. I think that is right.
But there are worries that that will hit the lowest paid
because employers simply will not be able to pay it.
You cannot just throw money at the issue of low wages.
A low-wage, low skill economy is the reason why some people
here do not think it is worthwhile going to university.
We all benefit from a high skill, high wage economy.
And raising the minimum wage to ?10 an hour by 2020
which is what we have committed to do, that will give people
a better incentive to work and also reduce the benefits that we pay out,
the subsidy the state pays for people to stay in low-wage,
low-income jobs and it will help transform our economy.
We cannot make our way in the world as a low-wage, low-income economy.
That is what Dominic does not understand.
We need high skills. ?10 an hour, still
not film star wages. Is that a good living wage to hope
for even in five years' time? The gentleman in the
T-shirt in the front. Going back to the university
question, I have a degree, I now regret going for that degree.
Because I was told if I went into a place where jobs were needed
in various parts of the country, which I did, and I came out of that
degree and no jobs at all. You had to travel to go to free
internships in certain places in Manchester and London.
I now regret that because every time I now go for a job I'm
either overqualified or do not have experience.
So it is a barrier, sometimes I take it off my CV.
What do you say to that? I also want to come back
to the mental health nurse to be and I thank you for going into that
profession because mental health is very much the unsung profession
within the health service. What would you do about public
sector pay to make sure Heather did not get 1%?
The cap, lift the 1% cap because right now a new nurse
like Heather is going to be will be ?530 a year worse off by the end
of this decade as a result of that 1% year on year rise,
based on a 2% inflation. You're just not getting the money
to keep pace with inflation. Gentleman in the background.
Instead of freezing wages as they do with the 1% cap,
why not link it to what the MPs get? They would think about it then.
Guaranteed applause for that line! I just wonder if there is anyone
on this over 60s half of the room who is still working,
let us not have the impression that all sitting pretty in retirement
on huge wads of cash? Quite a few of you.
I have been made redundant several times throughout my working life.
I'm running my own business at the moment but earning next to nothing.
Having said that I still pay tax and would gladly pay more
to support these young people through their education.
On the question of jobs and helping, I wonder in the bank of over 60s,
who has been, who has had to be the bank of mum and dad or the bank
of Granny and grandad? Just one two, three.
Not many. My children were fortunate enough
to get grants to go to university. But if not you would have had
to help, or they just would not have gone to university?
Yes. I wonder if any of you actually
regret, apart from this gentleman here, in the under 30s,
regret your career path because actually you have come out
worse than you thought you would be? Holly in the front?
I'm a teacher, I just do not feel for what I do,
the amount of work I put in, I do not feel I'm getting enough.
And going back to the motivation, of the students and teaching,
saying to them you will have to pay this much for university,
there is going to be so much competition,
and no job security. You're going to be working
until you are at least 70. Those young adults.
It is just, it is really difficult for me to be motivating.
I wonder if you don't necessarily resent but question the fact that
triple lock on state pensions means that pensions have risen 8% since
2005, and if the triple lock continues, will continue to rise, so
basically you have the chance that the minimum is going to be 2.5%,
increase for pensioners, each year, how do you feel about that? This lot
don't look too old! LAUGHTER They don't look too old! Howedes
feel about that? I don't want any division. -- how do you feel like
about that? Any to be more cohesive, certain parties are trying to divide
the young and old, I think that is difficult. We have concerns about
jobs. Now, to a pretty stark difference, housing.
If we look at Betty's generation, 65% of them own their own home.
By comparison, Millennial Matt has struggled to get
At the age of 30, only 40% of his generation owns a property.
So was it easier to buy a house in the 1970s?
In 1974 Betty was 26 and was able to buy her first term for 2.5
a 30-year-old Matt is struggling to buy his first home.
The property will cost on average more than four
So Matt and his friends are stuck renting from private landlords.
Matt will spend on average ?44,000 more on rent than Betty did.
And to make matters worse,
he is probably paying his rent to Betty!
Half of all rent that goes to private landlords,
around ?4 billion a year, goes to those over 60.
The effect of this is a two thirds of the aggregate wealth created
since 2007 went to Betty and her generation while wealth
format and those aged 16 to 34 has fallen.
Let's start this section with a quick show of hands, this will be
interesting, on the younger side of the room, how many people already
own their own home? One man! Sheepishly putting his hand up. The
most dead, only his own home! And just out of interest, how many of
you expect to own your own home before you are 30? One, two, three,
four... Just a few of you. There is a glimmer of hope there. Let's go to
Dean, in the back row, you are saving hard to buy your own home,
how much are you putting away a month? ?700 a month, that is the
maximum I can put away for a help to buy ISA and I saved ?2400 last year.
How much were you saving each month? I have saved ?2400 per year, that
will do well towards a deposit. What about your social life? I live with
mother and father, so...! Interesting, help to buy scheme,
Labour is going to phase out the help to buy scheme by 2020 and yet
it is the only lifeline that many young people have of the possibility
they will get on the housing ladder, why phase out help to buy? What we
have found is that helps to buy has been going to people who have over
?100,000, and it has not succeeded in changing the housing market. --
Help to Buy. What we are hoping to do is to build investor build 1
million new homes over the next Parliament. So no? ... So no Help to
Buy? We will be building affordable homes that young people can afford.
Who likes Help to Buy? Anybody else? You are doing it. How much has Help
to Buy given new optimism that you might get on the housing ladder
question mark it has given me a lot of optimism, I'm saving ?200 a month
as well, living with mum and dad helps as well, so it has given me
optimism, especially with the extra money the government give you, it
gives a boost to your savings and makes it easier to save.
Who is paying through the nose for rent at the moment? Whose biggest
bill is rent? Probably pretty much all of you. In the second row...?
The lady in the blue. I'm studying at college at the moment, just
because I'm a student I am allowed to be a bit more flippant with my
spending, but I don't have a job at the moment, that's practically
impossible, I don't quite know what to do, really, it's impossible for
me. That in a vicious circle. Who has had terrible accommodation that
they cannot believe they have had to pay for? We have had housing,
student housing, for the last three years, one of the being in halls,
private renting for the rest of it, we have gone through these,
administration fees, hundreds of pounds each year paid just to go for
the house, just to put the paperwork through, shoddy work done for
repairs, the heating, I am sure most people remember the student has been
cold and damp, and all the horror stories that you hear are true,
basically. Let me bring the greens in here, because you have, on the
question of private renting, do you accept it is often really badly
maintained, terrible rents, and you have a plan to change that? You have
to get the heart of why there is a problem, the 2011 census showed we
have more rooms per head of population than we have had in our
history, this is not about generations competing, it is that
housing has been turned into a speculative commodity, fuelled by
buy to let landlords, trying to make money from young people and old
people. If you take the subsidy away from the buy to let landlords, put
it into social housing, allow councils to borrow against that,
increase the supply, take the heat out of the housing market, have rent
controlled as well, give local authorities the opportunity to cap
rents and control them so we have a living rent. We can do it if we have
the political will. This has been framed as young versus old.
Actually, it really is not like that, there is enough money, if we
have the political will, does not need to be taken from the old to
give to the young. We can altogether have it. Shared responsibility from
the greens. The fact is all the parties will promise to build
however many new homes it is, the SNP, you cannot... Naomi, the
government is not building homes in any parts of the UK that are
anything like at the required rate. First of all, I'm 24 years old, I'm
acutely aware of all of these difficulties that you are discussing
from your accommodation when you are a student through to saving in your
ISAs and things like that. -- Mairi. The Scottish National Party has
built 50,000 affordable homes and helped people into home ownership,
22,000, by shared equity schemes, and we have scrapped the right to
buy, and we are going to restore housing benefit for 18 to 21-year
old, that is something the Tories scrapped. In all these ways, we are
trying to help young people in Scotland make the really important
move into the housing ladder. Dominik, in 2015, the Tories pledged
to build million new homes by 2020, since March, last year, you have
built 100 watts...? I know that -- 100 and what? It has been 168,000
350. That is not on track to build 1 million homes by 2020. We have seen
300,000 affordable homes made since 2010, and plans for 400,000 new ones
for both encouraging social housing in councils to create housing for
rent, but also. What about borrowing, to build affordable
homes. We talk about borrowing and the wish list, the money tree that
keeps giving money, but the Scottish Government deficit is three times...
We need to do this in a responsible way. You are taking the debt and
putting it around the neck of young people. We keep racking up these
debts, these young people have to pay them off. Taking public debts...
It is not right to promise 1 million homes, then, is it? We are
redoubling efforts, to deal with rental as well as homes to buy. We
need to hear from somebody on the older side of the room am a new has
a spare room, wouldn't mind mind renting it out? In all seriousness,
who has a fairly big cows, plenty of room in it, but you are still living
in it and maybe it could help solve the housing crisis? Two, in four
bedroom, but I would like to say, I don't think it was any different in
our day, getting on the housing ladder, we needed to pay 15%, in my
language that equated to almost two years salary, gross, not net, gross.
OK. Then, we went through the process just over 1990, where the
interest rate on the mortgage actually went up to 16, 17%, every
month getting a letter to say it was going up and up and up, when we
bought the house, when we bought the house, our mortgage doubled. And we
had to give into something. And that was our main thing to do, to pay the
mortgage. Sounds like a lot of these guys have given up on owning their
own home, is this an impossible dream? Should young people not worry
about owning their own home? What about that, will we be a property
owning democracy? This generation will not see the same home ownership
rates that baby boomers saw. 80% for baby boomers, these guys are around
half that and will never get up to 80%, there were hired first-rate,
but the flip side, house prices in Britain have gone through the roof
over the last 30 years. I would like to go back to the point made by
Dominic on borrowing being a barrier to affordable home building.
Absolutely note credibility 1 billion in government debt to 1:7...
1 trillion, to 1.7 trillion, how on earth do you think your government
track record is credible at all. Until you have paid off the deficit,
you cannot... Until you pay off the deficit, you cannot... You cannot
get the debt down, we have... The debt is increasing, the debt is
increasing. Until you get the deficit down... That shows you how
important it is... Austerity... Austerity... Right back to where we
started. Austerity is an ideological choice, you can grow your way out of
debt, wrote to a surplus. We are not going to take lessons from the SNP
on economics. LAUGHTER Lot of the policies we are pursuing
in Scotland... The Scottish economy contracted at the end of 2016, your
budget deficit is three times... That is a key indicator of
economic... The gentleman on the second row, in the under 30 section.
I grew up in quality housing, I have lived with high costs and poor
conditions for a long time, I don't think... It has got worse and worse
in recent years... I don't think that is because the economy is
rigged for the old, it is because it is rigged for the rich, it is no
coincidence that 70% of Tories Tory MPs are landlords, they have
modelled on revenge evictions, the wealthiest Tory MP in the country
has jacked up rents, so the families who lived there all their lives
could not afford to live there anymore. How much longer are we
going to go on with 3 million children living in damp and mould
and vermin in the sixth richest economy in the world, how much
longer will we accept this? What would you do if you were in power?
She is bang on the money, 1 million new homes, half... Half public,
half... It is possible, if you stop building luxury flats and start
building affordable homes. And if you have a bit of planning and
strategy rather than just... To bring in Ukip. You heard that
this is the end of a property owning democracy in the same way it was
before. Do we just have disabled people are not going to be able to
afford their own homes in the future and it will all be landlords perhaps
from this bracket who will be renting out their homes? It is not
acceptable but decisions have been made over the past 20 years which
have led to the situation we're in. There is a lot of unreality in what
I've been hearing, we talk about affordable homes but those could be
80% of market price if the market price is 300,000 unaffordable home
is 240,000. That is still not affordable. Everyone has made
promises to build and for 20 years it has not happened. We have not
mentioned as Ukip have mentioned often, you cannot separate the
housing crisis from immigration levels that we have had. And over
the last 20 years there has been huge increase in immigration which
has been a deliberate policy of Tony Blair, David Cameron and Theresa May
and together with not building enough homes for the demand. Who
thinks that the housing crisis is due to immigration, show of hands?
Two or three hands. It is basic supply and demand and you cannot
separate the two. It is a factor as it is in schools. There are many
empty homes in deprived areas in parts of Wales. People cannot afford
to buy them. The Conservative representative has talked about
controlling national debt and they have failed to get to grips with
that but they're happy with young people going heavily into debt. Many
of them will not reach the pain threshold for when they start to pay
back their student loan. That is the reality of the problems young people
are facing. I'm getting confused and irritated to some extent. I have
five children, two of them bought good houses in this area in their
mid-20s. Just in the past five years. I do not understand all this
difficulty. Do not tell the people down south for goodness' sake but
one of the benefits of living in this area is housing is affordable.
I do not understand most of the arguments. And I have examples.
Let's bring in the Labour representative. As previous and
leave this area, housing was one of the top three issues constituents
came to see me about every week. House prices are more reasonable
here but the incomes are much lower and the ability to save for the
deposit also lower. So I have a young woman constituent of working
for the government on a very good wage and she cannot afford to buy
her home. That is not being reckless. Does that ring true with
anyone from the under 30s? I'm from London and am considering, I have to
move back home now and it is embarrassing, but that is just the
issue. Prices are now extortionate. Do not be embarrassed. Is there a
geographical split, a difference? There are geographical differences
in house prices and earnings across the country. The north-east has a
higher rate of home ownership but it is not just a London issue. Places
like west Yorkshire and Greater Manchester, over a 50% decline in
home ownership amongst young families since just the 1990s. And
the older half of the audience? I'm a bit let landlord, I invested in
buy to let. I did not want to, did that because I want attention and
annuity rates have crashed. One of the reasons that, one of the
benefits for being young nowadays is interest rates are so low. What I
was playing, 15% interest on a mortgage in the 1980s. The only way
that I could build up a pension fund was to go into buy to let. What
you're saying is that housing for you is an investment and not a place
to live. Exactly but only because I cannot get a decent annuity rate. Do
you understand how some landlords are rapacious and actually some of
them have bad properties that they do not maintain. Do you think that
you really set the fair rent? I said just below the market rent. But I do
everything in accordance with the law and the returns on buy to let
are pretty poor if you do everything properly. This guy has several
houses. Who sees it as a realistic investment for the future? Nobody.
House prices have steadily been increasing and will continue to
increase as long as we have a strong economy. The only way to do that is
to get a Conservative government. We are running short of time on
housing. I think there is a clear split in the room over that. With
Brexit ahead what kind of country do we want to live in?
Older and younger voters have always been polarised.
So we would expect them to disagree. 65% of Betty and her buddies think
that membership of the EU has eroded British identity.
But less than a third of Matt's mates would agree.
In fact, almost 43% of those under 30 consider themselves
to be Europeans first. In the days after the Brexit vote,
Matt was one of the three out of four young people
who voted to remain. He complained that his identity had
been taken away by the 64% of over 60s who voted to leave.
Betty might argue that more young people ought
to have turned out to vote. There was a 64% turnout amongst 18
to 24-year-olds, whereas 90% of Betty's friends voted.
But now that Article 50 has been triggered,
just how much do Betty and Matt disagree?
Not so much, is the answer. The under 30s overwhelmingly think
that EU citizens already living here should be allowed to stay.
And 78% of the over 60s agree. Betty and Matt also agree that EU
companies should be able to continue to trade goods and services
as they do now. In fact while most under 30s think
that British companies should continue to comply with EU
regulations more than half of Betty's generation agrees.
are we ready as divided as we think? Let's look at the banks of young
people. What kind of Britain do you want to live in, a Britain that has
fewer migrants, more migrants? I was not old enough to vote in the EU
referendum. But my future has been plunged into uncertainty by the
older people who voted to leave the EU. I will not have the chance to
study abroad if we have to pull out of a Razma. I will not have the
chance to have foreign lecturers and I want to live in a country where we
can accept these people, except people from other countries and
embraced the culture they bring and embrace them as citizens. I think a
lot of what is being said amongst young people in the wake of the
referendum is scaremongering in terms of Erasmus, immigration and
other things. The whole reason, the reason I think a lot of people voted
to leave is because they wanted to control, not necessarily because the
numbers needed to come down but they needed to be control. People study
abroad outside of the EU and you can still do that. So voted to leave
amongst the over 60s question this young lady says you're still our
future. -- you have stolen our future. I'm not against people
coming in from different countries but I just think, I feel our
culture, it is the culture, I feel it has changed too much and I'm
worried for my granddaughters. Did you granddaughters get a vote? One
is just coming up to 19 so she is going to vote. Did you talk to them
about voting? Absolutely. What they think? They have own thoughts that I
gave them mine as well! And the gentleman just behind, digit Vote
Leave? I see Brexit in the town I live in, Hartlepool, 70% leave, I
see the town and whole country becoming much more mean-spirited and
narrow-minded and like this lady I'm worried about my grandchildren. They
go to a school where there are 13 nationalities, asylum seekers,
refugees, and their education has been greatly enriched and it is a
wonderful school. And if that was to stop then this country would be
poorer for it. That gentleman is saying that having these different
nationalities in a classroom is an enriching experience. The young
woman behind people who voted Brexit have stolen her future as a kind of
of international person. Absolutely not, we're still going to be friends
with European countries, we will still have links and friendships
with people all around the world. People will still be able to visit
and add we will still give out student visas. What we have seen
since Brexit I think, all of the fear, all the things that people
said were going to happen that were bad have not happened. We have not
had Brexit yet. Since the referendum. I think the gentleman
says we have not seen anything but people have been -- have become more
) scared of different people. I never experienced racism before
Brexit but I have since. Apart from these other logistical things it has
created a narrower society. Do you think that all, that older people
have stolen your future in the sense that they made a decision about your
future and not their future? I do not want to blame all of people but
I feel some of them have done that. I will not have free movement, not
be able to travel abroad if I want to, so many things. I think that our
culture is enriched by migration. I'm a descendant of an Irish
immigrant and I have given a lot to this country. Things like public
services are built on migration, 40% of NHS nurses are EU immigrants. We
need free movement. Dominic Bradley, can you look these people under 30
in the eye and said that if we do not get the deal we want it will be
OK if we cut herself loose? I understand the nerves of young
people but there are also opportunities here and we are
fighting for a successful Brexit. Let me finish the argument. My
vision is an optimistic vision, Britain as a self-governing
democracy, strong relationships with European friends but also a global
horizon. That is important because the jobs of the future will come
from trading with emerging economies and free trade is also a great way
to bring down prices. Blaming older people for the Brexit result, a
massive proportion of young voters did not bother to turn out. And a
lot of the older people who voted Brexit with the same ones that voted
to join the EU and the first place and they have seen the progression
of the political union. A key point is that a lot of people, young
people, did not turn out. Would that have made a difference if they had
turned out? No and it is not right to see -- to say there was a low
turnout amongst young people at the Brexit referendum. In the Brexit
referendum we had a higher turnout amongst younger people than
previously. 60% as opposed to 50% in general elections. The question now
is if they're going to turn out to vote in this coming general
election. There has been hired registration in the coming weeks. --
higher. I voted remain and I voted remain because I agree that we may
be are stealing the future from youngsters. I also remain the cover
believe we may now be facing a crash in the economy. -- also voted
remain. It could well happen. So it is right to remain. I voted remain
but I understand the reasons of those who voted for Brexit. One is
cultural, and that was mentioned just over there. I think it is
important for anyone coming to this country or for those of us who are
British going elsewhere, to go into whichever environment we are in and
learn and absorbs the culture and be part of that environment. I
understand why they did that, I think it is important to integrate
people properly. I'd also those who voted for Brexit because they were
afraid for their jobs, being taken by people coming into the country,
we have to go back to the changing world that we have. When we spoke
earlier about going to university, you must go and study the right
things, have the right skills. The world is changing in terms of work
so what is important is that schools, education, it is
appropriate. We have not heard from the Liberal Democrats. Just how hard
are you prepared to stand up against a hard Brexit? Very hard. You began
to see the Leave campaign evaporate on the morning of the 24th of June.
The ?350 million pledge. We believe those who started the process should
be given the final say on the deal, the British people. If there is any
deal. It is astonishing to hear the rhetoric from Dominic, this is the
opportunity stuff when he has no comfort for the many millions of
citizens from the EU used as bargaining chips in this country.
Another show of hands, who is feeling optimistic about their
future in the UK? If you're listening on the radio, just a
handful of hands on either side. Anyone want to quickly tell us why
they feel optimistic? I think we have a great opportunity now, an
opportunity to speak to other countries which we did not have the
chance to before. America is reaching out to us, we have plenty
of other countries outside the EU who want to make deals with us. They
want to talk with us and our negotiations and trade deals. It is
all there regardless of what happens with the EU. I feel optimistic
because the polls are closing, there's a chance we might elect a
compassionate and real human being as a leader. If we can bring in
Jeremy Corbyn, we will create a revolution and hope for the future.
We are in charge of our own borders. Infrastructure cannot cope with open
borders. It cannot. We're running out of time. Lady behind you. I
think that was a mainly Tory press headline. Very quickly on the front
row. I'm optimistic because the thing I know about the British, we
have this ability to see an opportunity in any situation.
That is all we have time for, from Newcastle, thank you to our
audience, whatever age you are, and to the politicians as well. That is
it from the generation gap, just eight days to go until that
all-important vote. From Newsnight and Newsbeat, good night.
Hello, cooler, clear and night for many of us overnight leading to a
bright and sunny start on Wednesday, more clout across southern England
and into Wales, that will tend to break up some
What issues matter to younger and older voters in the general election? Newsnight and Radio 1's Newsbeat team up for a special programme from Newcastle presented by Kirsty Wark and Jonathan Blake. From political engagement to benefits and housing and where the future of Britain lies, an audience of under-30s and over-60s debate with politicians and experts.