People in the top 2% have now discovered a new way to ‘divide’ the 98% – by age

Bernice and I married at 20 and 22 in 1974. As mid to late Baby Boomers we worked after graduating while renting a flat on the outskirts of a large housing ‘project’ in outer Leeds.

I paid the rent and all the bills and she saved the entirety of her bring home wage as a clerical officer in the civil service, and after some time (no holidays, no going out, no car, no treats) we had a deposit of £500 which we used to get ourselves a small dilapidated semi in Leeds 8. We paid £8,250.

Current values, about £20k saved, house value in that area now around £180k. Still doable.

In the first year (1978) we spent the money we used to save every month on 1. Redecoration (diy) 2. A cooker, fridge, a proper washing machine instead of the inherited twin tub, 3. Some furniture 4. A colour telly which was promptly stolen when we were burgled 5. One holiday (eventually)

Our first mortgage was £52 pcm compared with £33 rent. Within a year interest rates had risen and by 1980 I was paying over £100 pcm on our mortgage. Things got a bit tight.

We had children and Bernice gave up work. There was no entitlement at that time for her to work part time which would have been our preferred option. We could not afford child care.

Fast forward to 2018 and we are retired and frankly, helping our own children to buy, to become mobile, to afford deposits, to get married. We’ve had a lot of pleasure this weekend sorting out vintage baby clothes from the top of the wardrobe and have laundered Panda to within a centimetre of his life.

We’re giving our car to one of our kids. It was offered to each of them but there was only one taker!

We are actually still quite poor. Pensions are not as generous as we read about in the papers, and to be fair we have paid heavily to get them. When I stopped working my disposable income went slightly up. (Less tax, no NI, no superannuation, no more mortgage which we’d paid for 35 years)

I was diagnosed with cancer, which had spread widely. Fortunately we still have the NHS.

The reason I’m telling you all of this is that people in the top 2% have now discovered a new way to ‘divide’ the 98% – by age. It is evidently my fault as a 66 year old that ‘millennials’ can’t get going financially. And they are looking at ways of punishing us.

Nothing to do with the rich, the banks, the hedge funds, the multi national organisations, the Tories.

Well you won’t fool my family. Whatever the BBC and the Tory press tell us all. We’re in this together, and everything we have will go the way of our children if it isn’t stolen from us by the government.

Ian Charles