Fascinating study of the terrible way we treat our young people,
This review is from: Jilted Generation: How Britain Has Bankrupted Its Youth (Paperback)
Ed Howker is an investigative journalist on Channel 4's Dispatches programme and Shiv Malik is a Guardian staff writer.
In the 20 years after Thatcher came to power, public housing spending fell by 64 per cent. Buy-to-let boomed, to 1.5 million buy-to-let mortgages. London rents rose eight times faster than incomes in 2012.
In the three years to 2015, £35 billions of housing benefits will go, not to those who need it, but into the pockets of private landlords, while just £4 billion of public money goes to build homes. The largest development firms keep build rates low, to keep their profits high. The government's Help-to-Buy scheme will add to demand, fuelling the bubble. But the problem is supply - lack of - not demand.
In 2005, Blair told the Labour party conference, "Our purpose is not to resist the force of globalisation but to prepare for it, and to garner its vast potential benefits." When he said `our', some at the conference might have thought he meant them, but Blair meant his people, the tiny minority of capitalists. Wages for those aged 16-29 fell between 2003 and 2011. The authors note that immigration "adds to the labour surplus and drives down earnings."
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith wrote in the Daily Mail, "It's small wonder that businesses have hired so many foreign nationals in the past decade or so. The fact is that they can't find the employees of quality that they need from the available British workforce." This insulted the entire British working class, more than 90 per cent of the population, and backed the free movement policy, which at other times Duncan Smith affects to deplore.
Britain spent less than Spain or Portugal, as a share of GDP, on getting people into work, less than the OECD average. Yet Michael Portillo wrote in the Sunday Times, 30 August 2009, "Idle young should be entitled to nothing."
The OECD found in 2009 that British companies' investment level was 35th out of the world's 37 richest countries. Public sector investment was low too, down from 7.3 per cent of GDP in 1967-8 to 5.6 per cent in 1975-6, and, since 1979, never above 2 per cent.
The authors point out how the free market has failed. They conclude, "The jilted generation needs homes. Build them. They need skills. Train them. They need jobs. Employ them and please pay them."