Monday, 27 February 2012

A Budget for young people

by Mark Corney

The pressure on the Chancellor to deliver a ‘budget for growth’ is matched only by the need to craft a ‘budget for young people’.

Across the UK, 731,000 16-24 year olds are unemployed and ‘not in full-time education’. Another 713,000 are economically inactive and ‘not in full-time education’.

Compared to the autumn statement the fiscal outlook for the March budget is more positive. The deficit for 2012/13 could be £3bn lower than predicted.

Decisions to tax ‘wealth’ instead of’ income’ could also be good news for young people. For instance, ending higher rate tax relief to private pension contributions could save £7bn per year. 

Monday, 20 February 2012

A Budget for growth

The budget is four weeks away. The economy is set to zig-zag in and out of low growth throughout 2012. Pressure is mounting on George Osborne, the Chancellor, to deliver a ‘Budget for Growth’.

In the short-term, low growth is a symptom of low demand.

The ‘high’ politics of Budget 2012 is the choice between maintaining the present course and hoping demand from private companies and households will increase, and stimulating demand through tax-cuts and public spending funded through borrowing at the risk of higher interest rates.

But climbing up the political agenda is the question of how to increase long-term economic growth.

Monday, 13 February 2012

Youth Unemployment: beyond the Youth Contract

by Mark Corney

Wednesday's jobless figures will confirm that the Coalition Government must go well beyond the Youth Contract to prevent another lost generation of young people. The new, three year Youth Contract mainly for 18-24 year olds can only be a starter for ten.

To be fair, the Coalition is at least concentrating on the correct group of 18-24 year olds.* Young people can be divided between the employed, unemployed and the inactive. For each category, however, young people can be in full-time education or not. 

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Maintenance not fees explains buoyant full-time HE applications

by Mark Corney

Maintenance support rather than tuition fees explains why applications for full-time places in higher education starting this September have not fallen through the floor.

According to UCAS application rates for 18 year olds in England have only decreased by 5%.* More than 193,000 18 year olds from England have applied for full-time HE places** some 30% of the entire age cohort.

Few in the ‘world of HE’ predicted  the introduction of fees of up to £9,000 per year – the most radical shake-up of tuition funding for a generation – would result in a mere 5% drop in applications from 18 year olds.