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Have you 'never had it better' than in the recession?

08:37 UK time, Friday, 19 November 2010

The prime minister's enterprise adviser, Lord Young, has stepped down after saying most Britons had "never had it so good" despite the "so-called recession". Was Lord Young right to resign?

Lord Young says that low interest rates mean that homeowners have seen their monthly mortgage payments reduced and that spending cuts had protected the value of the pound. Are you someone who is better off as a result of these measures?

He also said "I have a feeling and a hope that when this goes through, people will wonder what all the fuss was about."

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Do you think there is any truth in his comments or were they "both inaccurate and insensitive" as his statement of apology says? Are you having it better in the recession? Was Lord Young right to resign?

Thank you for your comments. This debate is now closed.

Comments

Page 1 of 14

  • Comment number 1.

    No suprise from a tory. Or noo-labour. Or libdem.
    What young isn't is bright, needed or wanted. "Poverty is good for you" says lord gross.
    It will take a revolution to get equality in this country.

  • Comment number 2.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 3.

    Lord Young is a comedy genius!

    It's dead I tell you, the Parrot is dead!

  • Comment number 4.

    The reduced mortgage rate offers an opportunity to pay off some of the burden. Though competing pressures on spare money such as increasing personal pension contributions and the rising food and utility bills.

    This is a temporary thing as the profit rises of utilities and supermarkets show many UK businesses are profiteering on the backs of the recession rather than supporting people and the country.

    Meanwhile, banks and financial services companies riven with incompetent and greedy managers/directors keep delivering poor and expensive service while charging borrowers punative interest rates while failing to reward to savers or shareholders.

    Sadly, the government has sat on its hands and failed to stem the greed of corporate Britain. It should have imposed:

    + windfall taxes on Supermarkets/Utilities to punish greed and price hikes
    + a cap on Credit Card interest rates of 15%
    + rules so banks ensure their loans do not exceed 5% over base rate and if they do banks need to provide a savings rate in equal to the level they are over charging loan customers
    + long term mortgage requirements on mortgage holders as in Europe to lock in the low interest rates - the UK will go double dip the moment mortgage interest rates increase.

    So yes I have had a good recission but unlikely it will stay that way as gains as whittled away by the pervasive corporate greed endemic in the UK.

  • Comment number 5.

    It's a recession when your neighbour loses his job; it's a depression when you lose yours.

  • Comment number 6.

    They like to take and take and take - and they give you the gift of debt in perpetuation in a world frozen solid in their bromide and petrified by their whim worship, their desire to be Gods among mortals....you paid the ultimate price for their excess, your creative value furnishes their golden temple and they cannot even have the decency to acknowledge the consequences of their endless delusional faith in perfect forms! - They evade and fake reality because they cannot believe it is real. The endless pointless demanded need for your sacrifice in the service of their excess - and then they demand that YOU have benefited from giving it up - while they continue to take from your children and grand children - How arrogant and conceited 0 What utter contempt these wealthy parasitic elites have for every single citizen....they are singularly anti- rational, anti-you, anti-life and ultimately evil!

  • Comment number 7.

    So.....

    The mask slips and we get to see how out of touch with reality some senior tories are, and what they actually think of the plebs.

    The conservative party was originally formed to prtect the interests of the landed gentry from the growing power of the commoners, so i suppose its no suprise that remote aristocrats like Lord Young hold such views.

    More suprising is the number of ordinary British people who will continue to vote for a party which has a hardcore of inner members who think of most people as peasants.

  • Comment number 8.

    He should resign completely from all politics and any companies he has an interest in should be blacklisted by the general poulace. Of course he won't resign - he is too well protected by the rest of the cowards and snouts in all Parliamentary circles.

  • Comment number 9.

    How much more goading by the landed gentry are the people of this country going to take?

  • Comment number 10.

    Couple of points.
    David Young is being described as a member of Margaret Thatchers cabinet; what he actually was, was one of her chief advisers so this statement really comes as no great surprise. It also showed Camerons true colours, away from the 'big society' garbage when he appointed him in the first place.
    Also, what hasn't been commented on very widely, was his use of the term 'supposed recession'. After months and even years of being told by his party and his leader, that we were in the worst recession ever, we are now being led to believe, and not just by Young, that things aren't too bad after all.
    Does this make Gordon Brown right all along?

  • Comment number 11.

    Personally the recession has made no difference to me - landlords have increased rent by a ridiculous amount, inflation outstrips may pay rises, and in fact my pay has gone down, fuel bills and tax have rocketed, especially for those who cannot afford to pay them, my debts have increased and most of my income now goes to the landlord, the local council and the banks. Indeed, I have only enough money left for food, so I cannot run a car, I have no mobile phone and I rarely can buy new clothes (they are usually Christmas and birthday presents) and I am sometimes better off staying at home earning nothing than paying to travel to work, and all despite the fact that I have a minimalist expenditure and I work hard as a highly-skilled professional. However, all this was the case long before the recession - those who are struggling on the brink of poverty suffer more as time goes by - recession or no recession, the poor get poorer and the rich get richer. I don't care about the recession - I was struggling before and I am struggling now and I will struggle after this recession, for the same basic reason - I do not work in finance, ergo my pay is simply inadequate. Personally I think that this recession, the giving of taxes from the poor to the rich bankers, and the harsh cuts are all part of an international fraud. The prime function of banks is to take from the poor to give to the rich, and the government is part of this abominable wickedness. Westminster is either oblivious to what is really going on, or is part of the fraud. I think we need a truly independent inquiry to establish what exactly is going on with Europe's economics. Did the Irish economy slump despite the cuts or because of them?

  • Comment number 12.

    This is one of the great non-stories of today let alone the major headline. Only the BBC with their tiresome and barely concealed anti-Tory bias could make this into their top headline. To think I have to pay for this constant sensationalist rubbish masquerading as serious journalism.

  • Comment number 13.

    Ok firstly it was a really dumb thing to have said.

    However there is a small kernel of truth in there for some people.

    If you are in work with a large mortgage and few savings then yes you are better off (and if you have any sense you are making hay whilst the sun shines).

    If however you are our of work or are relying on savings then I can't see things are that great for you.

  • Comment number 14.

    As someone who carefully saved, I have watched the very low interest rates achieve virtually nothing - as I have been out of work, this has not been helpful.

    I can well understand why anyone with a mortgage is going to find these rates helpful, and in that respect I am not unsympathetic.

    However, with very real concerns about jobs, major companies such as Bear Stearns having disappeared (with people's pensions), I cannot see that many people will look back and wonder what the fuss was about, even if they were not personally affected. Unlike the 1980s and 1990s recessions when sections of the country were hit, I think everyone this time around has either been affected or knows personally someone who is.

    (And I can't remember anyone saying about the 1980s and 1990s recessions that they didn't know what all the fuss was about, or that people had never had it so good, despite the fact that that was true for some of us (I was lucky enough to be unaffected during the 1980s).)



  • Comment number 15.

    The low interest rates were a result of (Gordon Browns) Labour policies and international economic circumstances.

    What is most worrying that this Tory who is so clearly out of touch and has never had to experience tough times or being out of work, is the advisor to our Eton educated Prime minister.
    Mind you David Cameron has never experienced any of this either.

    Still no worries, I am sure that they know what is best for those of us who actually work for a living.

  • Comment number 16.

    Once again....

    It just goes to show how out of touch some politicians are, with the people who live in the real world.

  • Comment number 17.

    In fairness, in comparison to the suffering of the 1930s, I suppose he's right.

    But that is a little like telling someone to be grateful that they have a cardboard box to live in because some poor person in a third world country doesn't even have that.

  • Comment number 18.

    What an idiot.

    In fairness, this doesn't feel like previous recessions, and we're not seeing the kind of job losses (yet) that we did in the early 80s, or the kind of general rot and drift that pervaded our economy under Labour in the 70s.

    But the man is a fool. For many people, times are getting harder already. There is fear about the future, banks aren't passing the benefits of low interest rates on to their customers, and general bills are rising.

    Mind you, I do love the way the Left has suddenly started pretending to care about 'ordinary' people.

    It seems not so long ago we were being told that we were all lazy, too crap and too arrogant to work for a living, and we deserved to be consigned to the dole queue, and replaced by wonderful, wonderful, infinitely superior to us foreigners.

    What's changed?

  • Comment number 19.

    Any chance he could be pensioned off - and live solely on an ordinary state pension?

  • Comment number 20.

    For the likes of me with a 0.75% above base rate flexible tracker mortgage the low rates have proved useful in clearing mortgage debt quicker with 'spare' cash being used to pay off this debt.

    Unfortunately the availability of 'spare' cash is reducing due to ever increasing costs of essential items (food, diesel, council tax, water rates, car insurance, domestic heating), reduction in child tax credit, no pay rise for 3 years and inflation at 3-20% depending on the spin and the reality of what you buy. All this is before the "Con-Dem good idea" policies come into force.

    Result is I have had to reduce the overpayments to keep pace with these rapidly increasing costs so I'm no better off.

  • Comment number 21.

    I couldn't agree more (at least in the South). Walking around towns, the restaurants are heaving, people seem happy to pay vastly inflated prices for mediocre coffee in generic chain shops. Perhaps people can't afford to buy the latest phone or larger plasma TV - is that what people mean by being in recession?

  • Comment number 22.

    I'm better off now than I was 5 years ago. Nothing to do with the recession, more to do with ridding myself of the financial drain that was my wife.

  • Comment number 23.

    A tory showing his true colours, its refreshing, I don't agree with anything he said but at least he's been honest about what he thinks. I paid my mortgage off years ago and low interest rates are a nightmare Ive needed a new car for a couple of years but that will have to wait till my savings start to make something.

  • Comment number 24.

    The only person dafter than Lord Young is

    1 - chrislabiff

    who thinks a revolution will solve our problems.

    Never heard of Kampuchea? Never seen what was done there?

    Revolutions solve nothing and bring nothing but death and destruction. We don't need a revolution to rid ourselves of a buffoon like Lord Young - just a P.45 would solve his problem.

  • Comment number 25.

    Yes insensitive enough i'd say. You could put it down to the fact he's 78. Anyway he's not part of the Government so it's not really News is it?

    Oh! Hang on a minute. It is big news because the BBC have decided to make it so in their inevitable pro new labour, heavily biased way. Blair swept through the BBC in his time and filled the place full of his own little apparachniks and i look forward to the day they all get cleared out again. Am i right?
    Tell you what, why don't we concentrate a little more on Woolas's escapades. That's more like the type of thing we've come to expect actually. That is news. If the remarks of this daft old person is the best that can be found for todays dig at the government it's time to give up.
    Another idea might be to expose the backgrounds of the criminals who perpetrated the disgusting behaviour during the student demonstrations last week. Personally, i hope they throw the book at them and throw them off their courses. Time to get a job i think!!
    Come on let's have something worth reporting. Incidentally, i think he's a twit for saying it because i for one have had it far better than i have it today but we have to go back before the labour government and our involvement in all these wars to find those days.

  • Comment number 26.

    It worries me that this man is the PM's enterprise adviser. I think when he says "most Britons" he means himself and his friends. Of course it's an insensitive and inaccurate comment.

    The recession is tough for everyone. He would know that if he actually met normal people. Apologising isn't enough. He should make visits around the country and help out small businesses where possible. Actions speak louder than words afterall.

    It embarrasses me as a Tory supporter myself. Do the Conservatives really want to keep the image of money grabbing toffs who don't care about the poor?

  • Comment number 27.

    Of course there's some truth in Lord Young's comments. There are always some that are unaffected by difficult times, and it is true that mortgage rates are very low, if you can get them. Similarly material possessions like cars and TVs offer better value and quality than ever before.

    But is that really quality of life?

    Insecurity for the employed, and an ever increasing number of unemployed or 'economically inactive' are indications of declining life quality, as are the pressures from huge and unplanned population increase in some areas.

    So for most people, I think he's probably wrong as well as insensitive.

  • Comment number 28.

    Lord Young was "a businessman who worked in retail, digital ..." yet he refers to the "so-called recession". If he lacks the technical knowledge to understand the definition of a recession, small wonder we are in one! With people with his keen grasp of the economy making key decisions, I suspect that the recovery will be a long time in the coming.

    I would be tempted to describe Lord Young as a complete idiot but, looking at his remarks, I do not feel that he would ever achieve 100% in the assessment.

  • Comment number 29.

    Lord Young voice-piece of the real Tory philosophy.
    So we have never had it so good...or did he mean that he has never had it so good!
    Perhaps too many subsidized gin and tonics in their lordships watering holes helped fuddle his mind as I am sure happened to many a MP when they claimed expenses.
    Must be a slip of his lordships tongue that highlighted his complete ignorance, or contempt, for the Big Society.
    His next quote will probably be "Let them eat cake."

  • Comment number 30.

    Lord Young may be "insensitive" but he is broadly correct - although there are a couple of rather big ifs:
    If you have a mortgage and if you still have your job, then you are probably better off than you have been for ages. Mortgage interest payments, which are many people's biggest monthly expense, have never been lower. Inflation is creeping up a bit but, generally, the last couple of years have also been characterised by historically low price rises.
    The government's spending cuts haven't really bitten yet - indeed unemployment is still actually falling - so, despite all the gloom and doom, for many households, life at the moment is actually pretty good.
    However, if don't have a mortgage and benefits are your main or only income, life must be a struggle that's about to get a whole lot worse.
    Like so many people on the periphery of government (such as advisors on drug misuse) Lord Young is paying the price for speaking as he finds. The government says his statement was inaccurate. In what respect exactly?

  • Comment number 31.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 32.

    This idiotic man should resign.

    We never had it so BAD.

    General election NOW please.

  • Comment number 33.

    I don't often agree with the Ghosts of John Galt, but post #6 is spot on. Having wasted all that money reviewing "elfnsafetygawnmad" and concluding it's the "meeja" and "no win no fee" lawyers to blame for our compensation culture (we have the lowest comp.claim rates in Europe), we now see what his true aim is. Govt have just cut legal aid for divorce, welfare benefits, employment, immigration and personal injury cases denying justice to the poor and vulnerable. No win no fee cases are not spurious, no lawyer does anything for free, if there's no case, no lawyer would waste his/her time with it. Now any compensation won in court WILL be swallowed by lawyers fees. The easiest way to cut these "spurious cases" is to stop certain newpapers printing lies & making stories up by making the Press Complaints Commission independent and giving them some teeth.

  • Comment number 34.

    In terms of mean GDP per capita, British people are prosperous right now, the problem is that a mean means nothing without the standard deviation - the problem with Britain is that the wealth is too unevenly distributed - there are people who are expected to work (and support the wealthy thereby) on next to nothing whilst many executives, certain ministers with business investments, and bankers, rake in endless wads of cash for doing very little. The recession has only meant that the wealthy have taken more from the less wealthy to maintain their pointless luxuries.

  • Comment number 35.

    This type of remark is a classic "dinosaur" remark - reminiscent of the "first class carriage" remarks of a couple of months ago - they simply serve to demonstrate that the speakers, in spite of everything, are still in la-la land. they don't appreciate that many people, through no fault of their own, are struggling financially; nor do they apparently have any genuine respect for other peoples feelings - why, in that case should we have any respect for them ?
    The sooner D.C. gets a grip of these dinosaurs the better, otherwise the classic image of the Tories as the party of the privileged will be perpetuated beyond redemption.

  • Comment number 36.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 37.

    A follow up to my post #28. Lord young may not be a paid advisor but the thought that this man could be making decisions about Health & Safety beggars belief.

    "Risk - what risk? It can cut a maximum of 2 fingers off the operator at any one time. In the developing world they have much more dangerous machines - take your entire arm off before you can blink"

    About time Big Dave showed some leadership and got rid of such an effective ambassador for the coalition. After all, we are told that volunteers have the same rights to training and induction as paid staff so they should also have the same responsibilities.

    Lord Young, there is the the so-called door - just so that you recognise it, it's the wooden thing in the frame. Close it after you - I'm sure you'll understand why we don't have 2 footmen to operate it for you. But if you could have waited until 2011 to make your crass remarks, IDS could have provided 2 volunteers under the Voluntary Work Programme.

  • Comment number 38.

    Well, I only too clearly recall Black Wednesday, and 15%. Tories.

    Lord Young can make all the noise he wants about low interest rates on mortgages, but that is nothing compared to the pain felt by pensioners as their savings suddenly fail to generate the income they need to live on. When you hear about people who switch the heating off because they simply cannot afford to pay the bills, you know Lord Young is just a little cut off from reality.

    I'm facing yet another year with no pay rise, but strange rises in bills that can only be explained by someone somewhere getting paid a lot more.
    Never had it so good?

  • Comment number 39.

    For those of us old enough to remember earlier recessions, he has a point. The standard of living for the majority is much higher and as it falls a bit it is still better than in previous downturns.
    Clearly his "never had it so good" statement is utterly wrong, and for those that lose their job and struggle to find a new one it is clearly crass.
    The continuous negative attitude of the Government preaching gloom and doom about the necessary cuts has had strong negative impact on business confidence and a more positive approach would have been wise. However there is definite politics behind this nay saying which is to get the bad news out of the way now, blame labour and move into good news just in time for the next election.

  • Comment number 40.

    BBC Impartial????????
    16/11/10 - Eric Joyce Labour Frontbencher calls the middle classes - liars, racists, drunkards and paedophiles - although he doesn't mind their tax yield though!
    No Headline or Have your Say on that
    19/11/10 - Lord Young trots out his baloney - headline plus have your say
    So glad I just renewed my licence, why not combine it with a labour party subscription?

  • Comment number 41.

    So some buffoon made a silly remark, realised he had made a gaffe & apologised immediately.
    Get over it.
    He is a politician, so what do you expect?
    All the parties have their fair share.
    After all, we had 10+ years of John Prescott, and in high office too.

  • Comment number 42.

    Out of touch and out of mind with the real world.
    One wouldn't expect anything less.

  • Comment number 43.

    7. At 09:49am on 19 Nov 2010, Jack Napier wrote:
    So.....

    The mask slips and we get to see how out of touch with reality some senior tories are, and what they actually think of the plebs.

    The conservative party was originally formed to prtect the interests of the landed gentry from the growing power of the commoners, so i suppose its no suprise that remote aristocrats like Lord Young hold such views.

    More suprising is the number of ordinary British people who will continue to vote for a party which has a hardcore of inner members who think of most people as peasants.

    -----------

    Indeed. Working class conservatism is truly a bizarre phenomenon. I was once going to write a paper about it, when I was a student, but was advised against it by my supervisor, on the grounds that it was simply unfathomable. There are many theories as to why people behave in this way, too long winded to go into here, but none of them seem to me to be adequate.

    I do think though, that we are in many ways, still a cap doffing, forelock tugging society; maybe because of our history as peasants, and also because - the 1640s aside - we never had a revolution to break the continuum, unlike most of the rest of Europe.

    Strange days indeed!

  • Comment number 44.

    Tories telling us we've never had it so good while we're in the middle of a recession, riots, far-right marches, a Royal Wedding coming up, all we need now is a good war... oops...

    Feels like I'm in a timewarp or something at the moment. Do we never learn?

  • Comment number 45.

    It's only taken about six months for the Tories to show their true colours. They are still the establishment personified! Time to put the serfs in their place.

  • Comment number 46.

    I partly agree with the tone of what Lord Young is saying: the recession we have just been through has had nothing like the devasting effects of those recessions we experienced in the 1980s and 1990s when lives and even whole communities were destroyed. Why? Well, for a start the Labour Govt was far more caring/benevolent than previous Tory ones and generally industry was more empathetic and responsible (reduced working weeks rather than mass redundancies for example). However, we now have a 'Tory' Govt of limited ability and no talent who are continually telling everyone how dreadful everything is...thereby managing expectations to such a low level that we expect very little from them. They have delusions of adequacy and will probably fall far short of that!!

  • Comment number 47.

    Lord Young is of course correct, in saying that as a country, we have never had it so good. In general, we have never had it so good, though many folk will feel otherwise due to the present situation. In recent years, many people have found themselves far better off than they could have ever have believed themselves to be, owning their own houses, which have propelled them into a feeling of security, and this may be coming to an end. This has been a era of great opportunity, and many of us have been able to do rather well out of it. Make the most of it. It can only get worse.

  • Comment number 48.

    Of course it is true that the crisis does not fundamentally affect the standard of living for many people in the UK. As someone in a stable job with a regular monthly income the only impact of the crisis on me so far has been that I did not receive a few percent pay rise last year. But to be honest I am not eating, driving, partying, or holidaying any less because of this. And I assume that my situation is similar to that of many millions of other people in Britain. In that sense it may be true that many people indeed never had it this good.

    However, there are millions of Britons who were living in poverty even before the crisis started. And there are many more who have lost their jobs due to the crisis. These people are badly hit by the crisis, and their standard of living is seriously affected. Lord Young’s comments are simply an insult to them.

    But they are completely in line with the ‘we are all in this together’ lie that Cameron and Osborne tell us every hour on the hour. I am sick of hearing it. Do Cameron or Osborne seriously have to worry about how to feed their family in this time of spending cuts? Of course not! But many Britons do. You can argue that spending cuts are a necessary evil, but telling people that ‘we are all in it together’ is an insult to the millions of people who live in far less fortunate circumstances.

  • Comment number 49.

    6. At 09:47am on 19 Nov 2010, The Ghosts of John Galt wrote:
    They like to take and take and take - and they give you the gift of debt in perpetuation in a world frozen solid in their bromide and petrified by their whim worship, their desire to be Gods among mortals....you paid the ultimate price for their excess, your creative value furnishes their golden temple and they cannot even have the decency to acknowledge the consequences of their endless delusional faith in perfect forms! - They evade and fake reality because they cannot believe it is real. The endless pointless demanded need for your sacrifice in the service of their excess - and then they demand that YOU have benefited from giving it up - while they continue to take from your children and grand children - How arrogant and conceited 0 What utter contempt these wealthy parasitic elites have for every single citizen....they are singularly anti- rational, anti-you, anti-life and ultimately evil!
    ____________________________________________________________________
    I'm not sure about the "evil" bit at the end but otherwise spot on.

  • Comment number 50.

    Oh! For Goodness sake, someone put this ignorant old sod out to grass. What hope is there for the people of this Country when we have out of touch, upper-class relics like this in charge of things. God help us all!

  • Comment number 51.

    25. At 10:06am on 19 Nov 2010, Ody wrote:
    Yes insensitive enough i'd say. You could put it down to the fact he's 78. Anyway he's not part of the Government so it's not really News is it?

    -------

    David Cameron's Enterprise advisor states pubically that he doesn't believe that there's been a recession and you don't think that's news?

    Sorry, but all you Tory stooges and apologists are going to have to do better than the old 'move along,nothing to see here'.

  • Comment number 52.

    Hired but Unpaid ? ! Please BBC ? !

    I would like to comment about the BBC news article to and the title of a picture "...Lord Young was hired by David Cameron to carry out an unpaid role..." is the BBC dumbing down ? If a person is hired then that will be recruitment on the basis of a fee being paid to the person recruited. Please take a look at the dictionary definition of 'hired' http://www.thefreedictionary.com/hire so the title ought to read 'Lord Young was recruited by David Cameron to carry out an unpaid role'if indeed Lord Young is working in an unpaid charitable role which i sincerely doubt. I am sure Lord Young will be recompensed in some way or another for his role.

  • Comment number 53.

    Young is a throw-back from the Thatcher regime,whose views now as then,
    counted for very little.
    And this man was brought in to advise the government?
    Unbelievable.

  • Comment number 54.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 55.

    What else do you expect from him 'He's never had it bad' so he has nothing to judge it by. About what we should expect from this privaledged lot currently living the high life at our expence.

  • Comment number 56.

    Personally speaking he's technically correct... my mortgage was gone right down, my disposable income is up. Its next year when I find that I don't have the equity I had in the house and get stung with massive interest when I can't get a better deal that I'll be stung hard.

  • Comment number 57.

    Lord Young has no idea about life in the real world. We are being squeezed on all sides by the Alliance policies.

    The latest being that full funding is not available for my son, who has special needs (Asperger's Syndrome with associated social phobia), to continue his education online. This is the only way he has been able to access education. This has resulted in the withdrawal of his child benefit and subsequently his payment for income support.

    How am I to feed and clothe him? He must go and register for Employment Support Allowance. This is an 18 year old young man who rarely leaves the house. So Lord Young may want to think before he opens his mouth in future. The apology is too late as he has already insulted the thousands of people like us who are bearing the brunt of the Governments bad decisions.

    As a full time carer for my wife I already have enough to deal with. Consider the Carers Allowance as a payment for over 35 hours work. So Lord Young is just adding insult to injury.

  • Comment number 58.

    he has shown we we suspected some of those in th lords have no idea about the real life and its struggles and should not be in a positon where they can influence the decisions thst afffect others in a less fortunaye positioon thena them

  • Comment number 59.

    Lord young and The Con/Lib government live in a diffrent world,they will not be happy untill the olden days return every home should have servants and maids? Thenew homeless familys will provided this cheap labour? after all the greedy bankers have taken they homes'

  • Comment number 60.

    Well, compared to the other recessions I remember, this one does seem much 'milder'.

    I wouldn't say that we 'have never had it so good' - but maybe we 'have never had it so good during a recession'. Also, maybe, if we forget the years when Labour was madly spending money the country didn't have, the typical standard of living now is better than before - but I suspect much of that is that we are still living in the aftermath of Labour's credit-fueled spending spree.

  • Comment number 61.

    They should wheel him out next time the students march past Millbank Tower!

  • Comment number 62.

    Wayne Rooney would agree !!

  • Comment number 63.

    Is this really a main news story ?

  • Comment number 64.

    The man's an idiot and worse still an unelected idiot!

  • Comment number 65.

    It is just another clear indication of what we already know. Whilst some sectors of Society are being squeezed, including students being laden with huge debts, other sectors are making no contribution at all.

  • Comment number 66.

    He is clearly, provably and absolutely right. All one has to do is look around at the number of cars per family, the numbers of children being driven to school, the rate of home ownership, the consumer durables in most homes, such as dishwashers, huge TVs etc., etc.

    I would wish that all those who are so offended could be transported back to my childhood, when almost all children walked or cycled to school, when cars, fridges, washing machines, central heating were the preserve of a minority of the population. Dishwashers, holidays abroad, air travel and a second car were enjoyed by only the very well-off.

    My and my wife's children are now paying less on their mortgages as a result of lower rates, they all have two cars, dishwashers, central heating and holidays abroad. They are teacher, nurse, policeman, housewife, car inspection engineer and marketing guy, so all pretty average - not city traders!

    I am disgusted that Downing Street is so scared of the truth that stares us in the face. The remarks are only offensive to those who oppose the government and continually whine about 'poor me' and wallow in their victim culture while ignoring just how easy life has become.

    This attitude is what holds this country back, and will continue to do so until the whiners start adopting a positive approach. That's why it's easier to recruit foreigners than the British.

  • Comment number 67.

    He should resign. Not for the comments per se, but if he sees this as a non-recession then he must be so at odds with government policy, the recent spending review and the chancellor's budget that he ought to be making a principled stand on such a fundamental point.
    Of course, the truth is that there is some merit in what he is saying as this is a very twin track recession. Some are doing very well out of it, thank you very much, especially those of independent wealth wise enough to take money out of markets before the bubble burst and who have since re-invested and seen their money multiply. Others, and so far I would include myself in this, remain in employment and have felt some tightening but it has not been that bad. All the while, the top 5 star and above hotels are reporting record occupancy levels, and it is true without any politics to the statement that the rich are currently doing very well.
    But for others, it will feel very much like a recession; if you've lost your job, had your hours cut or some other consequence of government of corporate fiscal measures, Young's comments will sound unrecognisable.
    Essentially what he has done is speak for himself, not for the balance of people in the country. In doing that it is a major gaffe, that strikes right to the heart of the image of the PM and his core team of having one rule for their own type and another for the rest. Coming on the back of Cameron's embarrassing about-turn over his extraordinary decision to put his photographer and his wife's stylist on the public payroll, it's not been a good week, especially for a normally PR savvy party.
    Still, there is always a laugh in here somewhere, and nice to see one of Murdoch's boys in post no.12, trying even to twist this into a story about the BBC's reporting, but that was more than a contortion too far. Back to the play-do for you pal.

  • Comment number 68.

    It is glass is half-full/half-empty kind of stuff.

    I don't hear anything desperately wrong or out of touch with what he said.

    People who think things are bad should go to where the state does not support the unemployed, the sick, or the elderly and provide free primary education and health care. In other words, they should go to most of the rest of the world, where these are luxuries. Then perhaps they would understand why people are hiding in lorry wheel arches in order to come here, where apparently the country does owe you a living.

  • Comment number 69.

    I seem to recall that certainly last year during this 'so called recession', 50% of all existing mortgages at the time were fixed rate, and at a substantially higher rate than the bank base rate.

    As one of those who unfortunately have one of these high rate fixed rate mortgages I can certainly tell the good Lord that upwards of 50% of mortgage holders have never had it good whatsoever in the last two years!

  • Comment number 70.

    I wonder how many of these comments befitting of traditional Tory ideology are going to escape before the end of their time in government. He may not be an active minister but it is worrying that DC had the lack of judgement to appoint him as a key advisor. They try to keep a lid on this sort of thing as much as they can but it may just reflect that many of the old sentiments of much of the party remain in place. Sentiments that often highlight them as completely out of touch with the majority of voters in the UK.

  • Comment number 71.

    There's lots of stuff on here about this being a non story about some silly old Tory duffer.
    This silly old Tory duffer has an office in Downing Steet and Cameron's ear on all things enterprise. He was a right wing tory in the 1980's and clearly hasn't watered down his Thatcherite agenda.
    I repeat that Cameron showed his true face when he appointed Young in the first place.

  • Comment number 72.

    Rich people are all out of touch, none more so than the Champagne Socialists that Labour voting people always seem to conveniently forget about when they blast the 'Toff Tories'

    But anyway, as a lucky working class lad with a mortgage and job, at the moment with a rate of 1.5% interest on my mortgage, he is right; I and many others have never had it so good. ( I remember the days of 10% and even 13%)

    But I am not fooled, yes I work hard to pay my mortgage off, but I know damm well what ever government is in power will make sure the money I have in my house, I will have to use to pay for my ill health in or care in my later years.

    The dream that I have of passing the little wealth that I have to my kids will be robbed away from me to feed and house the work shy.

  • Comment number 73.

    It's actually true but still a stupid thing to say publicly. I know a lot of people who have more disposable income because of the low interest rates. I also know several people who have lost their jobs. My wife will next March.

    So if you have lost your job, this is the last thing you want to hear from someone who is not struggling financially and probably never has.

  • Comment number 74.

    Your mates at the banks have never had it so good! Stupid toff, typical Tory with his hereditary wealth, never worked a day in his life no doubt. Totally out of touch with reality. Typical politician. Nothing ever changes, Tory, Lib Dem, Labour - it's the same old lies, corruption, stupidity, greed and pandering to the city. 'Vote for change' my backside, never believed it, it was always just words, it always is with these sorts of people.

    Screw them all, they're all the same. 1 party parading as 3.

  • Comment number 75.

    Of course he's a silly old fool, but it does no harm for the public, especially the tory voting, Express/Mail/Sun reading types, to be reminded of what the tories really stand for: protecting the interests of the wealthy, and the suppression of the rest of us.

    Jolly Good Show Lord Young!

  • Comment number 76.

    I have nothing against Millionare Tories letting us know what they really think, it is just a pity that the Lib Dems have joined them in this cabal called the collalition. And as for the grovelling letter to his fellow millionare well it is not worth the paper it is written on. The mask has slipped and for a brief moment of time the true face of the Tory is unmasked. These people care nothing for those who are not in their club, we will just have to get used to it, my only consolation is that I did not vote for them.

  • Comment number 77.

    Was it not McMillan who first said "You never had it so good"?
    Are not times better now than then?

  • Comment number 78.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 79.

    Not unexepected from a Trade and Industry Secretary from the Thatcher years.
    Perhaps Dave 'Gripper' Cameron is upset because Lord Young has effectively dismissed the Right Wing Media's proposition in the General Election that Labour Party policy was at the heart of the countries problems.
    After all it was only a 'so called recession' and people with money and property have 'never had it so good'.
    A final admission from a Tory Grandee that the 'real recession' occured in the last long term Tory administration?

  • Comment number 80.

    David Cameron did the right thing in getting rid of his photographer paid by the taxpayer. Now get rid of Lord Young, David, and show what you're made of.

    I am sure there's another very talented person in the ranks of the Tory fans, who won't put his/her foot in it and get the job done without blundering.

    We don't want the Labour idiots to criticise what is right but have to admit our faults too.

  • Comment number 81.

    On Radio 2, I was tired of hearing wealthy people bid £60k for a ride in a Ferrari for the Children in need auction, so I turned over to a local radion station where they were talking about people who couldn't afford to heat their houses. We're all in it together.

  • Comment number 82.

    The big question is how many in the Tory party think the same but would not say it in public

  • Comment number 83.

    To be honest this is taken out of context, I tend to agree with him with regard to interest rates; as when we brought our first house interest rates were 8% and we are centainly mamaging to pay off a lot of capital and reduce the mortage as the present interest rate has been at a historical low for such a long time.

  • Comment number 84.

    What a silly foolish man. These comments just go to show how out of touch he & his party are.

    "57. At 10:27am on 19 Nov 2010, Peter n Athena wrote:
    Lord Young has no idea about life in the real world. We are being squeezed on all sides by the Alliance policies.

    The latest being that full funding is not available for my son, who has special needs (Asperger's Syndrome with associated social phobia), to continue his education online. This is the only way he has been able to access education. This has resulted in the withdrawal of his child benefit and subsequently his payment for income support.

    How am I to feed and clothe him? He must go and register for Employment Support Allowance. This is an 18 year old young man who rarely leaves the house. So Lord Young may want to think before he opens his mouth in future. The apology is too late as he has already insulted the thousands of people like us who are bearing the brunt of the Governments bad decisions.

    As a full time carer for my wife I already have enough to deal with. Consider the Carers Allowance as a payment for over 35 hours work. So Lord Young is just adding insult to injury."

    I fully symapthise with you Peter n Athena. I'm currently in the process of appealing my partners DLA claim since they have seen fit to put him on lower rate care, thus preventing me from claiming carers allowance. We're potentially losing £3600 per year, peanuts to those idiots in the ivory towers in Westminster, but it's the difference between me eating or not.

  • Comment number 85.

    44. At 10:23am on 19 Nov 2010, Tony Harrison wrote:
    Tories telling us we've never had it so good while we're in the middle of a recession, riots, far-right marches, a Royal Wedding coming up, all we need now is a good war... oops...

    Feels like I'm in a timewarp or something at the moment. Do we never learn?
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    Nothing wrong with a Royal Wedding - quite a pleasant diversion from the hand ringing misery of the usual Labour supporters you get on here...

    Far Right marches are a result of a sense of disenfranchisement amongst people, often working class, betrayed by Labour and in response to the growing sense of fear brought on by an increasingly aggressive section of a certain religion here in the UK - What do you expect people to do, just sit there and take it? Failure to LISTEN to these people, consistent dismissal of their claims and worries, coupled with the usual sneering snobbery of the left-wing has alienated people and forced them into the idea that only through association with the Far-right are they able to take control of their destinies - basically another fault of Labour and their awful governmental mismanagement.

    And the war was started by Bush's pet poodle Blair - Labour. All our current issues are a DIRECT result of Labour mismanagement whilst in government.

    Whining and blaming the Tories for today's ills is just ridiculous and is frankly getting somewhat boring and frustrating to listen to as it is impeding the progress we as a nation need to make to get out of the mire that Labour so wantonly dragged us into.

    I really do think it is time for those decrying the horror that is the Tories to put up and shut up! Labour is the soul and only cause of our current misfortune and only hard and fast thinking and some sacrifice by us all is going to solve these issues.

    As for the "Never had it better!" comment, he was spot on! Under Labour people borrowed more than they could realistically afford to ever pay back. Credit taken out by people who thought they could juggle and repay (or indeed never bother to repay) on a shoe string budget. People buying ridiculously expensive items when earning a wage that could never afford to repay. It was Labour sponsored insanity! And now the Tories are here trying to clear up the mess and all you seem to do is whine about it.

    You people need a serious reality check.

    Also, any of you who ever voted Labour that kept the last shower in government; you have absolutely no right to comment. YOUR Stupidity and the wasting of your vote on such naredowells caused this mess that I am now having to pick the tab up for.

  • Comment number 86.

    32. At 10:12am on 19 Nov 2010, Beige Rage wrote:

    This idiotic man should resign.

    We never had it so BAD."

    Obviously you're still at primary school and have not heard of history books then...

    I wouldn't say 'we've never had it so good', but there have certainly been far worse times. Compare with back in the 70s - we aren't having power cuts due to strikes every week. To compare with a bit further back, the vast majority of people have a roof over their head, and at least one meal a day.

    The problem is that people are too used to having the benefits of living off over-spending fueled by the massive deficit caused by Labour. It will be hard for the country to get back to living within its means, but we have to do it, if we don't want to end up in the same state as Greece, Ireland and Portugal.

  • Comment number 87.

    To be fair, he's not far from the truth. If one casts one's memory back to the early 70's, Interest Rates were certainly in 'double fingures' and can only imagine how expense it was to have a Mortgage then

  • Comment number 88.

    Of course he really meant that most bankers & politicians on the gravy train are much, much better off.

  • Comment number 89.

    He is correct! He has never had it so good!

    What this shows is that Lord Young and people like him have no clue how ordinary people live. Recession WHAT recession, Job cuts WHAT job cuts!

  • Comment number 90.

    Lord Young, you need a broader understanding of how different groups of people have been hit by the recession and the ongoing economic problems. Like many older people, I am living on a small pension with a large percentage of my (modest) income derived from savings income. This income has more than halved over the past two years. I don't have a mortgage therefore falls in the mortgage rates haven't increased my income and I am now struggling to stay afloat. If I have to move away from my family home it won't cause comment and debate in the same way that the Housing Benefit Issue has, yet I too will lose my home. To hear that I have never had it so good is both wrong and extremely offensive. Shame on you Lord Young for making such ill considered comment.

  • Comment number 91.

    We are not benefiting from the recession. What is sad about this mans comment is that the problem with Torries and some from other parties is they are rich. I do not begrudge them that but they can not fathom what it is like for someone on a low salary to make end meets with the smallest of deductions taken in addition to what they already expericance.

    What should happen is anyone making between 75,000 to 90,000 should have a temporay increase to there tax rate of 1/4 percent for a year and about that 1/2 for the same period. WHile I make about 20m a year my partner names £90,000.00 a year. Both of us however know what its like to make less then 10. It will never happen and as CLegg, Osbornes and the like have all they need bless them.

  • Comment number 92.

    This buffoon of a man is typical of his type of lorded gentry who have no knowledge of the real world.

    He should resign, as he is clearly so out of touch with reality, that he has no place as an advisor. Whilst tens of thousands of people lose their jobs, struggle to pay ever increasing bils and lose their families and homes as a result, this 5 Star millionaire snob preaches to the country that "We've never had it so good" !

    What Crass Arrogance!

  • Comment number 93.

    "David Cameron did the right thing in getting rid of his photographer paid by the taxpayer."

    He only did that to avoid the negative PR. When will people learn, Cameron is just the same as the rest of them, city boy whose only interest is the city. Britain doesn't need another swing of the red/blue merry go round it needs a revolution!!

    You wait, in 10 years people will vote Labour when they're sick of Tories and it'll be the same old. This country never learns.

  • Comment number 94.

    Lord Young could not have hit the nail on the head more accurately.

    It is blatantly obvious that everyone with a mortgage and/or unsecured borrowing has benefitted considerably during the last couple of years, at the expense of those more sensible with their money, ie savers.

    If mortgagors and those on the limit with their credit cards think times are tough enough now, they're in for a big shock when interest rates begin to rise to more realistic - as opposed to artificial - levels.

    Most of them are far too young to know that mortgage rates were into double figures in the 1980s. We had to bite the bullet then but, of course, in this nanny age, the act of borrowing and getting into a financial mess is always someone else's responsibility. Sufferers will as usual blame it all on the banks and bank bonuses, rather than look in their mirrors.

  • Comment number 95.

    Ha ha! Is he still alive? Good heavens another "Davros" lookalike.

    Oddly he might just have a point here and there, though.


  • Comment number 96.

    I have to say that there's more than a ring of truth about Lord Young's comments. The shops have never been busier and whenever I'm in Starbucks I can't get served because of the queue!

    Maybe the comment about 'people who think the state owes them a living' should have been aimed towards the top bankers; but apart from that, Lord Young was pretty well spot on!

    Pity Cameron didn't have the guts to back him up.

  • Comment number 97.

    Is anyone really surprised by this this typical Tory - we're all scum to these people, he's only being true to his class.

  • Comment number 98.

    I never thought I would say this but - I agree with #66, Mr Wonderful.

    I've never had it so good - but it's all down to me.

  • Comment number 99.

    While I dont agree with much of what the tories say or do there are always lots of people who make lots of money out of a recession. A lot of people with mortgages (whatever political party they support) made money by having their payments cut. This was akin to getting pay rises of hundreds if not thousands of pounds a month. Even if this extra money was used to reduce their debt it was,and still is, money they would not have had if there had been no recession and interest rates were not cut. So a lot of people ARE better off.

  • Comment number 100.

    It makes me worry that these sort of people are advises to the government The Tories are riddled with them and Nu Labour the longer thet were in power the more of them where beginning to think the same way They seem to have lost touch with reality I suspect the answer is to pay MPs the average wage

 

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