Photo Credit: Chris Ratcliffe
For over two weeks, the media has feasted on the news about the Royal Family, especially regarding Queen Elizabeth II, her life, works, issues, and funeral. As a result, Britain underwent prolonged national mourning to commemorate the country’s longest-reigning monarch.
People went in droves to visit their late Queen’s dead body, and many made tributes to her to remember her. Furthermore, the world mourned because of the incident, while world leaders gathered for the funeral in what seemed to be the world’s most secure funeral.
However, now that the Queen is buried and Charles takes over as King, many young Brits have come to point out that they are much less bothered by what is going on with the Royal Family and more focused on the more important issues threatening the community: the grappling economy and the continued rise of the prices of commodities.
Brits were interviewed, and they expressed their frustration over the misdirected attention of the public to what matters at the moment. For example, Liz Truss was chosen as the next prime minister; King Charles III declared Monday a bank holiday, and the overspending of the money for the Queen’s funeral. These issues are exhausting the capacity of the economy to recover from its current slump.
According to young Brits, many people in the UK are struggling to make ends meet. Still, the Royal Family has spent an enormous amount of money on services that are less important than the current economic issues faced by the country.
“How am I just going to live? I feel like a baby that’s come out of an egg, and the sun is too bright, and that sun is the cost of living,” saif Atiya Chowdhury, a 22-year-old master’s graduate.
Weaker purchasing power, stronger inflation
When inflation rose last year, the cost of living in Britain became higher. Tax increases and the subsequent pressure of gas companies to supply energy brought about by the Russian-Ukrainian conflict only exacerbated the problem. According to the Institute for Government, the surge in prices of goods and services is fast-paced, and the average income of citizens cannot keep up.
The wage growth rate has been relatively weaker than the inflation rate. Further, tax increases were enforced by the government last year and were effective until the current time, which has led to the weaker purchasing power of people in the United Kingdom.
The Office of National Statistics reported that the average change in prices rose by 8.6% in just over a year. And there is none to blame except the price surge in several products, such as food, fuels, gas, and electricity.
The supply cuts from Russia have sent out a strong warning across Europe of the possible complications they could meet, especially since the cold months are approaching and gas is basically used by most to heat their households.
In response, the government placed subsidies for companies and households so that prices may be capped and people could afford the higher gas prices over six months or more. However, many experts say that there may be inequalities in how the subsidy will be provided across economic groups, with the poorest expected to receive the lesser chunk.
“I can’t see them being very welfare-based and giving handouts, but that’s what they have to do to allow people to live. Otherwise, there will be dramatic changes in people’s lifestyles, which I don’t think is very good for the country,” said 20-year-old Sara Moghal.
“No matter how much income you have, it’s really going to impact everyone.”
“I think there’s so many political challenges that are going on with the war in Ukraine, energy prices, domestic issues. I think all of that coming together, it makes quite a bleak picture for a young person. It’s kind of hard to be hopeful at the moment with stuff like that,” said Maddie Baker.
“I just think it’s quite depressing at the moment. I turn on the news, and all that’s there is just sad stories and depressing news all the time.”