Photo Credit: Chris Ratcliffe
For more than two weeks, the media has been engrossed with stories about the Royal Family, particularly those concerning Queen Elizabeth II, her life, accomplishments, challenges, and burial. Britain observed an extended period of national mourning to honor the nation’s longest-reigning ruler.
Various tributes were paid to the late Queen as huge crowds visited her body. In addition, the tragedy caused widespread grief around the world, and global leaders gathered for the funeral in what appeared to be the most protected funeral.
However, many young Brits have noted that they are much less upset with what is going on with the Royal Family and more concentrated on the more pressing matters threatening the community: the struggling economy and the persistent increase in the prices of commodities. This is especially true now that the Queen has been laid to rest and Charles has taken over as King.
Brits were questioned, and they voiced their concern with the public’s misaligned focus on what was important at the time. For example, Liz Truss was appointed as the new Prime Minister; King Charles III proclaimed Monday a bank holiday, and the Queen’s funeral fund was overpaid. These concerns are straining the economy’s ability to recover from its present recession.
According to young Brits, many people in the UK have financial hardships. However, despite some expenses being less significant than the nation’s present economic problems, the Royal Family has spent a sizable sum on them.
Atiya Chowdhury, a 22-year-old master’s graduate, said, “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.”
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Lower purchasing power, higher prices
The expense of living in Britain soared as inflation increased last year. The Russian-Ukrainian war only served to aggravate the issue as it led to tax rises and consequent demand from gas firms to deliver energy. The average citizen’s income cannot keep up with the rapid increase in the cost of goods and services, claims the Institute for Government.
In comparison to inflation, salary growth has been somewhat slower. In addition, the government imposed tax hikes that continued to apply till the present, which has reduced people’s purchasing power in the United Kingdom.
According to data from the Office of National Statistics, the average price change increased by 8.6% in just over a year. The rise in the costs of a number of goods, including food, gasoline, gas, and electricity, is the primary source of the problem.
Since the winter months are coming and the majority of people in Europe primarily use gas to heat their homes, the supply cuts from Russia have strongly warned everyone in Europe about the obstacles they may have.
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In response, the government instituted subsidies for households and businesses in an attempt to keep prices and enable consumers to pay for the increased gas costs over a minimum period of six months. Inequalities in the distribution of the subsidies between economic categories are possible, according to numerous analysts, with the poorest predicted to get a smaller fraction.
“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,” posited 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,” Maddie Baker stated.
“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.”