Survey of more than 1,000 teens reveals anxieties over debt and economy
Key findings from the ‘Carrington Dean Scottish Teen Money Survey’:
• 64 per cent of 16 and 17 year-olds worry about economic outlook in independent Scotland
• 41 per cent believe their parents would be financially worse off in independent Scotland versus 21 per cent who think they would be better off
• 39 per cent think their own generation would be financially worse off in an independent Scotland versus 25 per cent who think they would be better off
• 63 per cent of teenagers worry about their families falling into debt
• 56 per cent of teenagers worry about falling into debt themselves
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 andprovides 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 per cent of teenagers agreed with the statement: “I worry about the outlook for the Scottish economy if Scotland becomes independent.”
Only 17 per cent said they were not worried, 13 per cent 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 per cent think that their parents’ generation would be worse off while 39 per cent think that their own generation would be worse off. Only 21 per cent think their parents would be better off while one-in-four think they would be better off themselves.
Most teenagers (69 per cent) want Scotland to keep the pound if there is a ‘Yes’ vote, while 12 per cent want Scotland to have its own currency and six per cent 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 per cent) worry about falling into debt themselves while 63 per cent 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. 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 per cent think that borrowing is stupid and 14 per cent think that it is wrong.
The majority (65 per cent) think that there is a stigma attached to being in debt and there was also widespread condemnation of payday lenders, with 74 per cent agreeing that “payday lenders take advantage of vulnerable people”.
The majority of survey respondents (90 per cent) were school pupils or college students with just five per cent 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 per cent expressing this view. Most (67 per cent) expect to inherit some money from their parents, although 26 per cent say their parents can’t afford to leave them money and seven per cent expect their parents to have spent their inheritance.
Most teenagers want to own their own home with 38 per cent expecting to be able to afford to do so by the time they are 25, while 48 per cent 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 – six per cent think that they will be 40 before they can afford to buy a home, while a further four per cent 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 per cent of newly-enfranchised teenage voters who have a one-off historic opportunity to have their say on Scotland’s future.
This age group constitutes three per cent 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 per cent of 14 to 17 year-olds opposed independence with 21 per cent in support.
NOTES TO EDITORS
Valerie Darroch, director of Communications, Carrington Dean
T: 07970 737708 E:valeriedarroch@Carringtondean.com
Interviews available on request
Peter Dean, managing director of Carrington Dean, is available for interview on the survey findings. To arrange an interview contact Valerie Darroch on the above number. We can also supply a photograph of Peter Dean.
About Carrington Dean
www.carringtondean.com T: 0141 221 2323
The Carrington Dean Scottish Teen Money Survey is an independent survey conducted by the Carrington Dean Group, a Glasgow-based financial services business between the 28th of April and 6th of May 2014.
The survey was fully completed by 1,042 young people who filled in an online questionnaire. It summarises the views of teenagers resident in Scotland who are either already 16 or 17 or who are currently 15 but will turn 16 on or before Referendum Polling day, the 18th of September 2014.
There was a broad geographic representation, with respondents from major Scottish cities and towns as well as from Orkney, Shetland, the Western Isles, Ayrshire and the Borders and there was an even 50/50 gender split among respondents.
A total of 90 per cent of respondents are currently at school or attending a further education establishment, five per cent are in full-time employment and the remainder unemployed.
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