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19.05.2014

Scottish teens worried about economy if Scotland votes ‘Yes’

Survey of more than 1,000 teen voters reveals anxieties over debt and economy

Key findings from the ‘Carrington Dean Scottish Teen Money Survey’

  • 64% of 16 and 17 year olds worry about economic outlook in independent Scotland
  • 41% believe their parents would be financially worse off in independent Scotland vs 21% who think they would be better off
  • 39% think their own generation would be financially worse off in an Independent Scotland vs 25% who think they would be better off
  • 63% of teenagers worry about their families falling into debt
  • 56% of teenagers worry about falling into debt themselves

GLASGOW, UK – May 19, 2014 – The majority of newly-enfranchised Scots teenagers preparing to vote in the Referendum on Scottish independence are worried about the outlook for Scotland’s economy if the nation votes ‘Yes’, according to the ‘Carrington Dean Scottish Teen Money Survey.’

The survey, which canvassed the views of 1,042 Scottish teenagers aged 15 to 17, was carried out independently by Carrington Dean, a Glasgow-based financial group which includes Scotland’s largest independent debt solutions business and provides specialist advice on a range of financial issues to personal and corporate clients.

The survey, which was conducted online, asked a series of multiple choice questions related to financial issues and found that 64% of teenagers agreed with the statement: “I worry about the outlook for the Scottish economy if Scotland becomes independent.” Only 17% said they were not worried, 13% had no view and the remainder foresaw little impact.

It also revealed that teenagers are anxious over the financial outlook for themselves and their families in an independent Scotland – 41% think that their parents’ generation would be worse off while 39% think that their own generation would be worse off. Only 21% think their parents would be better off while one-in-four think they would be better off themselves.

Most teenagers (69%) want Scotland to keep the pound if there is a ‘Yes’ vote, while 12% want Scotland to have its own currency and 6% want Scotland to join the Euro.

The survey also tapped into deeper financial anxieties among teenagers, with debt emerging as a significant concern. More than half (56%) worry about falling into debt themselves while 63% worry about their families being in debt now or in future.

Peter Dean, Managing Director of Carrington Dean said: “Our Scottish Teen Money Survey provides a uniquely comprehensive snapshot of the views of these first-time voters. Encouragingly, it shows that teenagers are really engaged on critical issues for the nation. They are reaching maturity at a time when many families are struggling with debt and the problems it causes for families. It will be interesting to see how these financial concerns play out when they enter the polling booths in September.”

Young people have strong views on borrowing too, 24% think that borrowing is stupid and 14% think that it is wrong. The majority (65%) think that there is a stigma attached to being in debt and there was also widespread condemnation of payday lenders, with 74% agreeing that “pay day lenders take advantage of vulnerable people”.

The majority of survey respondents (90%) were school pupils or college students with just 5% in full-time employment and the remainder unemployed.

Teenagers are broadly optimistic that they will be better off than their parents when they reach their age, with 52% expressing this view. Most (67%) expect to inherit some money from their parents, although 26% say their parents can’t afford to leave them money and 7% expect their parents to have spent their inheritance.

Most teenagers want to own their own home with 38% expecting to be able to afford to do so by the time they are 25, while 48% expect to have to wait until they are 30 (a recent property report by a major bank found that the average age of first-time buyers is now 29). Some take a more pessimistic view however – 6% think that they will be 40 before they can afford to buy a home, while a further 4% think they will never be able to afford to buy their own home.

Peter Dean commented: “Young people have high aspirations on home ownership but we have first hand experience through Your Mortgage Expert of the difficulties people can face in obtaining a mortgage. We’ve helped people of all ages to get a mortgage but many don’t appreciate the difficulties caused by a tougher lending climate.”

More than 98,000 Scots aged 16 or 17 (or who will be 16 by polling day on September 18)have already registered to vote, according to the National Records of Scotland. That equates to around 80% of newly-enfranchised teenage voters who have a one-off historic opportunity to have their say on Scotland’s future.

This age group constitutes 3% of the total of four million eligible voters in the Referendum and there is a paucity of authoritative intelligence on this demographic as few polls have gathered the views of 16- and 17-year-olds in significant numbers. A survey of 1,000 young Scots aged between 14 and 17 which was conducted last May by Edinburgh University found 60 percent of 14- to 17-year olds opposed independence with 21 percent in support.

This survey has been reported by:

The Herald

Reuters

CBC

Updated: 18 Dec 2015 to include reference to cbc.ca