Simoney Kyriakou  

Why youth say ‘eat the rich’

Simoney Kyriakou

Simoney Kyriakou

“Eat the rich.” For those resisting the lure of Twitter, many of the younger members of society have used this on that platform as a riposte to shows of wealth or news that the world’s wealthy have made billions during Covid-19.

Their frustration is not borne out of envy, as some might think.

The younger generations have a clear sense of justice, and for them, watching magnates rob the earth and rake in the dollars, while millions of people file for bankruptcy as a result of the pandemic, smacks of injustice. 

Nobody denies hard-working individuals the right to enjoy the fruit of their labour. But in the midst of famines, wars, race protests, food shortages and rampant disease, people need to feel they are not alone; that we are ‘all in this together’. 

And when it comes to accumulating a savings pot, the youth are the most disadvantaged – especially BAME females. There have been some measures to help redress the balance; the gender pay gap has been acknowledged and most companies are attempting to improve diversity and inclusion. 

Also, pensions auto-enrolment has meant a whole new generation has been saving towards their retirement. 

Figures last week revealed the amount saved into a workplace pension increased by £5.3bn in 2019, bringing the total saved to £98.4bn for the year. 

But as Aegon’s Kate Smith commented, the pandemic has enabled employers to put their contributions on hold, or to cut their contributions temporarily and – in some workplaces – even permanently. 

Some companies have vowed to repay staff, which is commendable; others will not – and that leaves the youngest members of society once again at a financial disadvantage. 

Add to this the fact that more than 70 per cent of those made redundant because of Covid-19 are female, and a massive number of the total redundancies are under 35 years old, you understand why young people want to “eat the rich”.