What do our Young People Think About the Cost of Living Crisis?

TDC's Youth Team recently hosted and Citywide YouthWise meeting, consulting with our young people about the effects of the Cost of Living Crisis. 

What is the Cost of Living Crisis?

  • ‘The poor get poorer’
  • Tax cuts
  • Striking
  • Increased cost of essentials, food, gas, electricity, travel, raising children etc.
  • Brexit causing prices to go up even more aside from the COLC.
  • Increased travel prices and if you don’t have a return ticket, it is more expensive.
  • Trickle down economics doesn’t work.

How are Young People Affected by the Cost of Living Crisis?

  • One of the main repeated points is Education – School uniform, canteen meals, supplies, and travel to/from school
  • Housing for young people is inaccessible.
  • Buying child care supplies (clothes, nappies, milk).
  • Cannot afford University rent/bills and just generally living as a student on their own
  • Not having accessible information about what the COLC really is in terms that young people can understand.

What Do You Worry About Spending Money On?

We had lots of responses to this one – with a broad spectrum of things. We had a discussion around this showing that people are struggling with near enough everything – here are some of the main points from this:

  • Medical care: Dentist, Opticians & Glasses, Hearing tests
  • Mental health services since waiting lists are sometimes too long to wait and going privately costs too much.
  • Food
  • Electricity & heating
  • Gas
  • Housing – whether it’s council, rent or owned
  • Travel – Coach, Train, Bus. Even owning your own car – insurance, fuel and repairs.
  • Finding a job
  • Technology – Some people need tech for school. Also; Phone/Tablets, Phone bills, Laptop/PC, Internet/Wifi, Games consoles etc.
  • Owning a pet – Medical care, Emergency care (For example, most vet practices have a cost for just the consultation, and then any tests/medicine/treatment will cost more. E.g. A CT scan is roughly £1.5k) cost of pet food etc.
  • Hygiene/Feminine products.

What Support is Available and How Can You Access That Support?

Support people knew about

  • Using charity/second hand shops to buy clothes rather than buying brand new.
  • Food banks
  • Church clothing swaps
  • Getting money off of bills in receipt of a non-means tested benefit.
  • Grant schemes (via. Gov website)


We also had a moment to speak about what support people would like to see!

  • Prices of things to go down
  • Discounts on school uniform
  • Help with school meal prices
  • Donating clothes should be enforced more


Also, other notes/worries

  • Some people don’t fall under a financial bracket where access to support is available.
  • Any support should be available and accessible to young people – including having young people friendly information on which support is available.


Pride seemed to be a huge common theme – People who are struggling with the COLC may also struggle with embarrassment for finding the support, and there should be an anonymous yet safe way of accessing support guilt-free. OR there should be more communication surrounding accessing support to fight the stigma

How Much Do Things Cost?

Mobile phone bill?

  • Depends on contract
  • Upwards of £30 per month.


Pink Tax (Sanitary products)

  • Feminine products are way more expensive than typically masculine products.


Monthly rent

  • Between £800 - £1500 per month OR MORE
  • Student accommodation is very expensive - £6-12k per year.


Streaming service subscriptions

  • Between £7.99 - £20 per month per subscription

What Would Help?

  • Making information more YP friendly and accessible to anyone.
  • Meetings around travel costs (Trains & Bus companies)
  • Make information around travel, prices, how to access those means of travel, accessible. (Bus company & council are meeting to discuss this)

Thank you to all the young people who took part in this discussion.


And thank you to our Youth Worker Charlotte Pemberton, for reporting on the event. 

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