This is the second in a six-part series on what each of the political parties has promised for different age groups this general election. Today we focus on what the different outcomes would mean for 30 to 39-year-olds.
Once we hit 30, many of us will be thinking about settling down, buying a home and starting a family.
High houses prices and slow earnings growth have made it difficult to get a foot on the ladder. For working parents, saving is even harder. The current cost of 50 hours of childcare a week from nine months to when the child starts school is £35,943 – excluding government-funded hours, according to calculations by insurer Royal London.
So what have the parties pledged to help this group?
Buying a home
Boris Johnson is offering a discount of up to 30pc to first-time buyers purchasing a home in their local area. Those who would not be able to afford a home otherwise will be prioritised. The Tories also plan to develop new long-term fixed-rate mortgages which are intended to bring down deposit requirements to help out buyers.
Jeremy Corbyn has said he will make developers sell homes at a discount of up to 50pc to people the local council considers “key workers”. These people could be from either the public or the private sector.
Labour expects it will deliver at least 50,000 discounted homes over the next five years, compared with the Conservatives’ commitment of 29,000.
The biggest issue for young homebuyers, however, is simply the lack of affordable options available. The Conservatives have decided not to up their current rate of house building – pledging one million new homes over the next five years, or 200,000 each year.
Labour on the other hand has announced ambitious plans to launch the biggest affordable house-building programme since the Sixties. The Lib Dems have said they will build 300,000 new homes a year.
Laura Suter of stock broker AJ Bell said that the biggest move to help first-time buyers get on the ladder would likely be Labour’s plans to cap rents. “If this were effective it would mean that rents didn’t consume so much disposable income, and give people the ability to more easily save,” she said.
For more info about what each party promised for tenants take a look at the previous installment of this series, Which party to vote for if you’re in your 20s.
Young parents would benefit most financially under a Lib Dem government. The party is extending the age when childcare funding kicks from three to two-years-old, giving working parents five extra hours a week free – up to a total of 35. It would also increase the number of weeks a year that these hours are available, to 48, and extend statutory paternity pay from two to six weeks.
For two working parents requiring 50 hours of childcare a week, this would save them £20,673 over the pre-school years, Royal London calculated. This would bring the cost of childcare during this time down to £15,270.
Labour has promised to boost paid maternity and paternity leave to 12 months and four weeks respectively. The party would extend the current 30-hours-per-week offering of free childcare to two-year-olds. This would save the same set of parents just under £10,000 – less than half the amount they’d benefit by with the Lib Dems in power.
The Tory party previously said it would increase the number of weeks per year that parents can access funded childcare hours from 38 to 48, however this was not mentioned in the manifesto. If they stuck with this policy it would save working parents just £1,410.
Royal London’s Becky O’Connor said: “The outcomes for working parents who need childcare for young children vary wildly between the main party proposals. The Liberal Democrat proposals are far and away the most beneficial in terms of pounds in the pocket for families.”
Both Labour and the Lib Dems have also said they will scrap the benefit cap and the two-child limit introduced by the Tories. We analyse what this would mean for parents in tomorrow’s article, Which party to vote for if you’re in your 40s.
What’s the cost?
Those in their 30s are also likely to see their salary rising – and their tax bills along with it. This means that they will be starting to take on more of the burden of paying for government spending than they did in their 20s.
While some of this money will be returned to them via boosts to benefits for workers and families, a hefty chunk of that spending has been dedicated to Britain’s pensioners.
Laura Gardiner of think tank The Resolution Foundation, said: “When it comes to cash transfers, both main parties are focusing on pensioners – and therefore widening the generational gaps in our social security system.”
While Labour are spending around £10bn a year on reversing some key cuts for working-age families, it has pledged a whopping £58bn to the cohort of women born in the Fifties who were affected by changes to their state pension age. The Lib Dems also plan to compensate these women for lost pension payments.
We’ll be looking at exactly what each party would mean for your tax bill in tomorrow’s article.
This is a six-part series from The Telegraph looking at which party's policies you'd benefit most from depending on your age. It will be published every day for six days.