Young Mancunians left behind as cost-of-living crisis deepens

Manchester has long since been known for its diverse nightlife and vast student population.

In a study compiled by Compare the Market, Manchester was found to have the largest percentage of young people of any UK city with a total of 38.57%. 

Many young people opted for Manchester over London for the affordable living cost.

However, the cost of living has soared to dizzying heights and young people have been left feeling overlooked.

Ellie Hawley, 23, currently works as a graphic designer, chose to remain in Manchester after she graduated for the cheaper lifestyle, but recent announcements have impacted that. 

“I’ve had to make an Excel spreadsheet of everything down to the pound to make sure that I can afford the rest of that month, paycheck to paycheck kind of thing.

“I want to go to the dentist; I know that sounds stupid, but I can’t afford £50 to go to the dentist,” she explained.

As a 23-year-old who is supposed to be enjoying Manchester, Hawley expressed her desire to afford basic pleasures such as an annual holiday or eating out once a month without having to worry. 

And she is not alone, following inflation reaching a record high it is seeming to have a knock-on effect across the lives of young Brits.

On the hope of obtaining a mortgage, Hawley, who rents a flat with her partner, said: “The only way we can manage to do it is if we regress.

“Like share a room somewhere really cheap. It just doesn’t seem achievable. And even then, we’d probably have to do that for years, and years and years.”

Grace Fitzpatrick, 23, moved to Manchester for university to be a nurse but stayed to work at the hospital she trained in. 

She thinks the majority have been forgotten about and called the current feeling amongst young people bleak.

She said: “I just think we stand no chance. And as a nurse, I really think like, I stand no chance. The wages aren’t going up with the cost of living. I just feel that I’ll be able to do less and less as the world carries on turning.”

Interest on student loans is also set to rise to as high as 12%. This follows an announcement regarding the earning threshold to be lowered from £27,295 to £25,000 from September 2023.

When asked whether she thinks this will deter future aspiring medical students, Fitzpatrick said: “I think people would be put off. Loads of people have left. We can’t retain staff. We’re always short of staff. And yeah, the NHS is collapsing.

“It feels a bit like they’re actively against nurses,” she added. 

Feelings of anger and being forgotten about are not limited to the young people of Britain. 

However, with the cost-of-living spiralling, it is they who will be left to pick up the pieces of our current economic woes.

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