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London - It should be a time full of hope and aspiration for a bright future in the making.
But a combination of fears over rocketing housing costs, personal debts and shrinking pensions has cast a cloud over the delights of bringing up a child, a survey reveals.
Most young mothers have ‘a significant degree of pessimism’ about their children’s future.
One of the biggest concerns is that the child will never be able to afford to buy their own home and will be forced to rent throughout their adult life.
Deborah Hargreaves, director of the High Pay Centre, an independent think-tank which commissioned the report, said: ‘When our children are young, we all have high hopes for them. We like to think the future will be better for them. But Britain’s dire economic situation has dashed hopes for many mums that brighter prospects lie ahead.’
Some 80 percent felt the chance of getting on to the housing ladder ‘would be worse for their children than it was for them’.
It comes as the cost of buying a home has rocketed to levels which only the rich or those with generous parents can afford.
In the early 1980s, the average price of a home was £30,000. But the same property today would cost £162,000, according to figures from Halifax.
A third of recent first-time buyers were over the age of 34, according to the Government’s English Housing Survey. In the most exclusive corner of the country – Kensington and Chelsea – it costs about £550 to buy the floor space equivalent to the size of an iPad.
The report also found that 78 percent predict that levels of personal debt ‘would be worse’ for their children.
Another key worry was about university tuition fees – only weeks before new rules force English undergraduate students to pay fees of up to £9,000 a year.
Research suggests students will graduate with £53,000 of debt under the new scheme.
And 87 percent said the state pension would also ‘be worse’ for their children.
The Government is currently steadily increasing the age at which people can start to claim their pension and is raising it to 66 in 2020. It will rise again to 67 by 2028 and will continue to increase.
Some 80 percent said they agreed or strongly agreed the Government should ‘do more to support job creation schemes in companies for younger people’.
Around one million young people between the age of 16 and 24 are currently unemployed, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics.
The ‘glum moms’ also singled out executive pay as a major flashpoint, which they said affects their trust in British business.
Three in four said they would like firms to be more focused on creating jobs for young people, rather than handing out multi-million-pound rewards to executives – including those who fail – and shareholders. Mrs Hargreaves said: ‘Executive pay clearly undermines public trust in business.
‘But just as importantly, moms want businesses and government to create more jobs for young people even if it means reducing returns for shareholders.’
The report was based on responses by more than 1,000 mothers on the Mumsnet website, the majority of whom had at least one child under the age of 16.
Justine Roberts, chief executive and co-founder of Mumsnet, said: ‘This report paints a bleak picture of the future for the next generation.
‘It clearly shows that we have to take action if we want our children to have decent job prospects and a hope of secure finances.’ - Daily Mail