Express.co.uk readers have offered their views after a pensioner hit out at younger Britons telling them they should put the hours in to cover their bills as he did.
Brian Meek, 76, said he and his wife worked extra hours including on weekends to cover their mortgage payments when interest rates soared in the 70s, similar to the upward trend now.
There has been a mixed reaction to his perspective with some agreeing the younger generation has a poor work ethic while others have said the situation is much harder than what it was previously.
Catsdad agreed with Mr Meek’s view, saying there are “loads of jobs and shortages of people” at the moment.
They said: “In the late 70s/early 80s, it was basic standard week was 42 hours if you could find work.
“So there’s potential to find extra income now. If people are willing to do it. In this world no one’s owed a living.”
Mr Meek said his wages were around £14 a week and when interest rates went up to 17 percent in 1979, his mortgage repayments doubled to more than £30 a month, but they still managed to cover the bills.
However, commenter Sickofitall said the situation is very different now. They said: “These days minimum wage is about £22,000 before tax, £19,000 after.
“Rent on even a flat can be £1,000 a month, and a mortgage requires a hefty deposit they don’t have.
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“That’s well over half of take home salary, and of course money isn’t worth the same as it was. Kids these days would cry with happiness if rent was only 25 percent of wages.”
Another person, JLA, said many people struggle to increase their income even if they put in more hours at work.
They said: “With very few exceptions it is not a case of working harder. An individual on an annual salary gets paid a certain amount each month whether they work more or less hours/days.
“An individual on hourly wages would be glad to work more hours for more income, if additional hours were available.”
Commenter Alicraig offered a more balanced perspective. They said: “Everyone should respect everyone else’s financial difficulties.
“Each generation had/has their own compound problems. Different in circumstance. It is not a contest about how hard it was or is. Nor is labelling an entire age bracket work shy right.
“I respect my grandparents for living off the breadline, my parents for doing all they could for a better life and I respect myself, siblings and cousins for working as hard as possible.”
One person in their 60s, TruePatriot666, said life is more difficult now than it was during their generation.
They said: “The world my kids and grandkids are having to cope with is way harder than my generation had (I’m 64). Personally, I’d ditch the triple lock and means-test state pensions.”
But another commenter, Rosie0124, said some people who are struggling could do more to reduce their costs.
They said: “I know that there are some people who are definitely in poverty and those I have huge sympathy for.
“But lots of others say they can’t afford bills, mortgages etc but how many of them have Netflix, Amazon Prime, SKY, top of range mobile phones, new cars and want new clothes, shoes, furniture etc.
“If I can’t afford something I do without. I don’t have Sky and I learned to budget from my parents.
“Times are tough but poverty today looks a lot different to the poverty that my parents endured in the 1940s.”
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