Before the budget was announced, there was a clear demand for it to be built around and for the
benefit of the workers. And, we were pleased it has lived up to those demands. A clear theme
running throughout the budget was the drive to continue building a country that can provide and
stabilise a foundation from which people can get work and those already in work can grow their
careers. We’ve seen unemployment drop and employment rising across the country during this
Conservative government and this budget is another key to continuing those very welcomed
It is important for young workers to see foundations, for stepping onto the ladder, being formed.
Some major progress was made towards creating these foundations in, quite possibly, the two
loudest lines of Philip Hammond’s budget. The big ‘Rabbit-out-of-the-hat’ moment of removing
stamp duty for over 80% of first time buyers and extending the railcard to 30 year olds.
The stamp duty cut will see young workers being able to put a deposit on their first property
sooner than previously expected and see less of their money being spent on renting when they
would prefer to be stepping onto the property ladder. A phenomenal victory for the property
ladder and for first time buyers.
This move is especially welcomed when considering the alarming statistic that, since the 1960s,
the average age of a first time buyer has risen from 23 to 35. The removal of stamp duty for all
properties up to £300,000 creates attractiveness in property ownership much more vivid and
within sight of many young workers saving up their wages for a deposit on a property. I’m already
hearing, in a personal capacity, from people across the political spectrum that they are loving this
decision from the Chancellor.
Although the stamp duty cut was, arguably, the biggest announcement in the budget, there was
also some more good news for young workers. The railcard being extended from 25 to 30 years
old means the opportunity for young workers like myself to access a less interrupted career path
has widened and will not feature on obstacle if any of us continue developing our careers beyond
the age of 25. If any young worker seeks to continue developing and advancing their career, but,
up to now, feels restricted by having to pay full price for train travel, they will no longer have such
a worry and will have the opportunity to develop their career nationwide without worrying about
the extra travel expenses, for another 4 years.
But, there’s even more. When Universal Credit was announced it was appreciated as an important
evolution of the welfare system, but needed to be refined and for some important flaws to be
addressed. The six-week waiting period drew up the major issue that it does not equate to the
same system as the workplace. If we are to truly support people in need of welfare we need to not
only support their transition back into the workplace, but also provide them with resources to be
supported while they are out of work. Action has been taken by reducing the waiting period to a
maximum of five weeks and any low income renters can apply from the first day that their
circumstances change, allowing them to be able to be supported while they are faced with
For any housing benefit claimants transitioning to the Universal Credit system worried about
missing a rental payment will no longer need to worry. Upon applying for Universal Credit, the
claimant will continue to receive housing benefit for another two weeks, eliminating the need to
have an upsetting and awkward negotiation with the landlord and meaning the claimant will not
have to ask for or loan any money in the short-term.
These updates to the Universal Credit system will mean claimants will be in a much better
position to search for new employment and enter or re-enter the workplace.
All in all, this was a victory for young workers. The ladder will retain its accessibility throughout our
20s and we will be able to get ourselves on the property ladder sooner, with the stamp duty cut.
And, with Universal Credit receiving a welcomed update, we can be sure to be protected upon
any unexpected period of unemployment.