IN the 1960s and 1970s young people were advised that if they stuck in at their education then they would get a good secure job and be able to own a house.

Of course, this advice was exaggerated, yet nevertheless, it was more than possible to ‘get on’ through a mixture of hard work and ability.

Today this is no longer true, because it doesn’t matter how hard a young working class person tries to improve his or her prospects in life, they will remain relatively poor.

Let us take the example of, say, a young working class person who obtains three Grade As in high status A Levels, Maths, Physics and Chemistry.

That person then attains a place at an elite university and gains a first-class honours degree in, say, Mechanical Engineering.

As a result of hard work and dedication, the young graduate then obtains a seemingly good, skilled job as an engineer on a higher-than-average salary of, say, £35,000.

Fifty years ago, the young person would be set up for life and would be able to buy a nice semi, a nice car and enjoy a pretty good standard of living.

But, what happens to the highly qualified, young engineer in 2023?

He or she will pay 20 per cent income tax, 12 per cent National Insurance and repay their student loan at the rate of 9 per cent.

In total therefore the marginal rate of tax would be 41 per cent.

Out this much diminished salary the young graduate would have to give up as much as 50 per cent of take-home pay to rent a one bedroomed flat from a landlord who doesn’t do any work, but merely lives off the labour of the young engineer.

Therefore, to put it mildly the young engineer ends up with next to nothing. Clearly the ruling elite and political class of this country hate young people.

John Gilmore, Bishop Auckland.