back to article No top-ups, please, I'm a millennial: Lightweight yoof shunning booze like never before

New official drinking statistics confirm that millennials are more sober than their lush parents – and drink less than any other age group. The Office of National Statistics reports that teetotalism is rising among all age groups under 44 and declining with the over-65s. Despite the lurid headlines, Britain is in fact drying …

  1. sandman

    Side-effects

    Ah, the explanation for Britain's falling birth-rate at last!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Side-effects

      That's down to no one knowing what they are anymore.

      1. A K Stiles
        IT Angle

        Re: Side-effects

        Possibly people are realising that kids are expensive (along with almost everything else, including booze) and they actually can't afford to have 3 kids.

        Or maybe falling religious participation and improved healthcare over the last 50 - 100 years means there is no longer the need / encouragement to have many spawn to bolster future member counts?

        Perhaps some complicated combination of multiple causal factors that are difficult to quantify with neat categories?

        IT angle? Well, there's booze involved, so that's good enough!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Side-effects

        "That's down to no one knowing what they are anymore."

        The youngsters now seem to be far more comfortable with the knowledge that who attracts them is a complicated business. Any inhibition is usually for fear that they might spoil a good friendship with a same sex pal whose reaction is not predictable.

        In the 1990s I was surprised by how many apparently straight neighbours' boys broke off long term heterosexual relationships in their twenties - and came out as gay. While they had no problem performing in bed with a woman - their emotional heart was with men. A neighbour who is in his 80s recounts how he always knew he was gay - but had to conform to marriage and children in the 1950s. Now he is happy in a same sex marriage.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Side-effects

          I wasn't knocking it, it was just an observation. There is a lot of confusion for kids these days with all the contradictions and how the media push certain things, I believe it can have the opposite effect and convince people they are the opposite of what they actually are. Be who you want to be has always been my view.

          1. teknopaul Silver badge

            Re: IT angle?

            Every fucker in the pub has a mobile phone with a hi res. Digital camera

            1. Rich 11 Silver badge

              Re: IT angle?

              Every fucker in the pub has a mobile phone with a hi res. Digital camera

              This is why I prefer to drink alone at home. That way no social media site will ever contain any photos of me with an inflatable sheep sellotaped to my crotch, a double-D bra tied around my head, a stolen policeman's helmet jammed up my arse and -- most embarrassing of all - a pink hotpants cocktail in my hand.

              1. jake Silver badge

                Re: IT angle?

                The IT angle is bootnotes.

              2. Fungus Bob Silver badge

                Re: IT angle?

                "photos of me with an inflatable sheep sellotaped to my crotch, a double-D bra tied around my head, a stolen policeman's helmet jammed up my arse and -- most embarrassing of all - a pink hotpants cocktail in my hand"

                Three words - foe toe shop

              3. ShadowDragon8685
                Coat

                Re: IT angle?

                But what about the traffic cone? It's not a good night if you don't get a traffic cone!

                Mine's the disgusting leather bomber with the keys to a ship-to-surface small craft that was withdrawn due to major flight design flaws.

  2. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
    Pint

    The older you get...

    The more you realise what's really going on and then reach for one of these.

  3. RubberJohnny

    So the moron ritual of people cheering on and praising other people who do idiot things with alcohol is dying out? I hope so.

    And people who vomit, piss themselves, pass out and make a twat of themselves and have to hibernate for 2 days to recover. "yeah it was a great night". Weird UK approach to alcohol which I hope is also heading for the bin.

    1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      There's nothing wrong with being a fool when you're young - you're growing up.

      If you're still doing it when you're 40, you're probably a barrister.

      1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

        If you're still doing it when you're 40, you're probably a barrister.

        Or a Tory MP?

        1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

          re: If you're still doing it when you're 40, you're probably a barrister.

          Or any brand of politician.

          As some parts of the country are going to the polls tomorrow, I won't say which party this little tale applies to.

          I have a postal vote. Here it is a two donkey race, Tory vs Lab. I voted and duly sent it off.

          Last friday, one of the two candidates came knocking at my door. He was told that I'd already voted and he thanked me for voting (most don't) and duly noted it on his list of electors. Yet one of his 'friends' came calling on Sunday right in the middle of the Countryfile weather forecast. He was told politely that I'd already told the candidate that I'd voted. Then last night, repeat. Same party, different worker.

          On the plus side, they do seem to be trying to get their man/woman/other elected but the local organisation seems brain dead when it comes to communicating with each other.

          PPE grads take note. You have an effing brain so use it.

          1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

            Re: re: If you're still doing it when you're 40, you're probably a barrister.

            Campaigns often have more door-knockers than clerical people keeping up with entering the data and producing new knock-up lists with those already voted taken off. Even with newfangled cloud apps you still get people more confident with a clipboard, and you'll often find it takes a couple of streets before you get a signal to send the updates to Cloud Central, and some systems don't give door-knockers the permissions to update the database themselves and the data goes into a virtual pile for the data manager to approve.

          2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: re: If you're still doing it when you're 40, you're probably a barrister.

            "the local organisation seems brain dead when it comes to communicating with each other"

            If asked they'd probably blame data protection.

          3. Mr Youmustbe Fuckingjoking

            Re: re: If you're still doing it when you're 40, you're probably a barrister.

            > PPE grads take note.

            PPE grads take note: everyone else knows what your plan is so keep quiet about your PPE degree if you want to get on in the normal world.

          4. John H Woods

            Re: If you're still doing it when you're 40, you're probably a barrister.

            "My friends, we will not go again or ape an ancient rage,

            Or stretch the folly of our youth to be the shame of age,"

            I contend that there is literally no better document describing the British relationship with alcohol than GK Chesterton's marvelous "The Rolling English Road"

            Kudos if you can recite it from memory it after 8 pints. Extra fun if people shout out the place names and bonus points for amusing new suggestions.

      2. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Driiink!!!

        If you're still doing it when you're 40, you're probably a barrister.

        Now, there's got to be a very amusing and potentially libelous story you are just dying to tell, but can't afford to, behind that comment.

    2. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

      If you don't do that in your early 20's, you'll spend the rest of your life doing it on and off at weddings and the like.

      I did my internship in drinking at an appropriate age. Now if I get to around 20 pints I know it's time to call it a night.

      1. quartzie

        oooof.

        I don't consider 4 pints anywhere near "binge drinking", but 20 pints is more than enough for an extended weekend drinking party for me.

        Am I getting old at not-quite-40?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        " Now if I get to around 20 pints I know it's time to call it a night."

        If I get to 20 pints, I know it's time I need a stomach pump.

        1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

          Rugby is the answer there. I don't know if it's the repeated knocks to the head or what, but it does give you quite the tolerance for alcohol.

          I should have taken up football instead, nights out would have been cheaper.

          1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

            but it does give you quite the tolerance for alcohol

            I've never played rugby (at school I was most emphatically not a rugby type - being tall and skinny, with glasses) - basketball was more my thing. For one thing, it was indoors. Secondly, physical contact is frowned upon..

            Didn't stop me having a large tolerance for alcohol[1] though. I put that down to genetics since by Dad also did - and so does my nephew.

            [1] Of certain kinds. Red wine I can drink bottles of with little apparent effect. Ditto cider. Beer makes me throw up.. Spirits - I can drink vast quantities of rum but vodka affects me very quickly.

        2. Rich 11 Silver badge

          If I get to 20 pints, I know it's time I need a cash transplant.

    3. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      So the moron ritual of people cheering on and praising other people who do idiot things with alcohol is dying out? I hope so.

      I agree , I hope so too , and I drink a lot . I dont make a twat of myself though. It can only be a good thing.

      Although hopefully its not a symptom of mass apathy , the killing of the human spirit , people turning into facebook/whatsapp zombies . You know - like at the end of the movie "Serenity" (2005)

      Although I believe it true that the young 'uns are drinking less, I've lost all faith in a survey that has reached this conclusion:

      Choice tipples with today's yoof include the "Pink hotpants cocktail", which consists of "Pimento ginger beer, sparkling water, grapefruit syrup and juice, sprig of mint."

      What does that say about the cross section surveyed?

      1. AndrueC Silver badge
        Happy

        Dependence on alcohol is a terrible thing. I'm not dependent on it - I can make a twat of myself while sober.

      2. Horridbloke

        @What does that say about the cross section surveyed?

        Back in my day it was groups of 18-year-old lads self-consciously pretending they liked bitter because "cider's a boy's drink innit and I'm grown up now grrrrrr". A true grown up doesn't care what anyone else thinks.

      3. jake Silver badge

        "So the moron ritual of people cheering on and praising other people who do idiot things with alcohol is dying out? I hope so."

        College kids will be college kids ... Part of the learning process.

        I've been making alcohol commercially for quite awhile, beer for 20 years, wine for about 10, and with any luck we'll start selling small-batch calvados/applejack in a couple years. Over all that time, I've noticed that the more booze I make, the less time I have to drink any of it ... and the same holds true for most of my friends in the industry. As a result, I have come up with an observation:

        Neophytes spend lots of money outside the house to get bombed.

        Amateurs spend much less money bringing alcohol home to get bombed.

        Experts make their own alcohol and drink at home on the cheap.

        Professionals make alcohol for use by neophytes and amateurs.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The reason people aren't drinking is because of successive governments moves to abolish the pub through price rises etc... The pub was a place for social gathering away from the prying eyes of government and a great place to discuss ideologies and the failings of said government. Also add to this the paedophile hysteria created by the press so kids don't play out anymore and you move to a society whose main contact with others is the workplace, schools or social media which can be monitored. Question is, do I need a tin foil hat for coming to this conclusion?

    1. cantbebothered

      I'm not sure that the paedophilia scare has much bearing on drinking...

      But I would add spiralling rental and housing costs mean millenials have less disposable cash than previous generations, further tightening the squeeze on pubs. Combined with home owners looking to make sure those house prices and rents keep rising by trying to remove anything remotely noisy, like live music, clubs etc.

      It's not something anyone in the UK wants to address, house prices are a growing problem that's going to bite it in the arse while everyone looks for something else to blame

      1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

        Where I am there's been a big move away from pubs and back to the beer houses we had in the 19th century - think "licensed non-food cafe" - just a shop without all the expensive accutrements of the huge building, exempli gratia.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "[...] and back to the beer houses we had in the 19th century"

          A tiny fashion shop in our ancient high street displays a picture of its prior life as such a pub. Basically it was the house's tiny front room with benches against the walls - no tables. It was a relatively common business occupation for widows.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

            1. Peter2 Silver badge

              For the housing - i am not sure why, if the majority of people cannot afford to buy, why is it that the house prices are so high?

              There is a lot more demand for housing than there is supply, and that drives prices up.

              Look at a population graph of the UK for the past 30 years and spot the problem.

              1. Charles 9 Silver badge

                Then where is the demand coming from if so many people are getting priced OUT of the market (demand implies people can afford to buy)?

                1. LucreLout Silver badge

                  Then where is the demand coming from if so many people are getting priced OUT of the market (demand implies people can afford to buy)?

                  Being priced out of Chealsea does not mean you are priced out of the market. As demostrated repeatedly, even the minimum waged can afford to buy a home..... they just can't afford to buy the home of their dreams at first time of asking.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    I pretty little chart:

                    https://www.economicshelp.org/blog/5568/housing/uk-house-price-affordability/

                    1. LucreLout Silver badge

                      I pretty little chart:

                      https://www.economicshelp.org/blog/5568/housing/uk-house-price-affordability/

                      A pretty little chart that ignores societal changes over 40 years, such as women moving into the workforce, and mock-shock-horror obtaining educational qualifications and careers rather than just doing low level shop work.

                      Mortgage payments as a percentage of income looks unchanged over the period of your graph and is lower than when I left school.

                      Affordability is basically unchanged over the data series in the graph provided.

                      There's something for everyone in the data in the link provided, but none of that alters the fact that literally anyone in the UK can afford a home of their own - they only have to prioritise the deposit for a year or two, even if they earn minimum wage and refuse to work a single hour of overtime to help themselves.

                      1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

                        As a northerner I can attest that the pretty little chart is bullshit - the blue line anyway. Its saying houses are as affordable now as 1990.

                2. rmason Silver badge

                  @Charles 9

                  Demand implies someone wants somewhere to live, not they they can afford to purchases the property.

                  So what has happened? They rent, they rent off the one or two generations who can afford to buy up the housing.

                  The people priced out of the market still live somewhere, they are just lining someone's pocket rather than paying off a mortgage.

                  1. Charles 9 Silver badge

                    "Demand implies someone wants somewhere to live, not they they can afford to purchases the property."

                    No, Q (Demand) requires the buyer be able to purchase the property, meaning he/she can afford it. Otherwise, he/she is by definition NOT in the market to buy at that price and is therefore NOT part of the demand (he/she is off the curve). Can't pay, can't play, that simple. Renting simply means they're playing a different game, taking them out of the buyer's game.

                    Let me put it another way. Why are prices going up unless people are willing to buy the houses AT those prices? If it's not the hoi polloi, WHO is buying up the houses at the increased prices that the sellers are able to command?

                    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

                      If it's not the hoi polloi, WHO is buying up the houses at the increased prices that the sellers are able to command?

                      Could the answer be anything to do with the proliferation of buy-to-let landlords, privatised housing associations and/or foreign millionaires investing their wealth in a burgeoning property market?

                      Just a guess.

                      1. LucreLout Silver badge

                        Could the answer be anything to do with the proliferation of buy-to-let landlords, privatised housing associations and/or foreign millionaires investing their wealth in a burgeoning property market?

                        It almost certainly is SOMETHING to do with it, just maybe not quite as you imagine.

                        BTL makes up 5 million of over 26 million properties. Its not nothing, but its not driving the market in the way many people assume it is - its just too small a group.

                        https://homelet.co.uk/letting-agents/news/article/how-many-landlords-and-tenants-are-there-in-the-uk

                        Foreign ownership makes up only about 100k properties, which is frankly a rounding error.

                        https://www.step.org/news/nearly-100000-properties-england-and-wales-owned-foreign-entities

                        Socialised property (housing associations etc) makes up another 5 million out of over 26 million.

                        https://www.theguardian.com/housing-network/2015/nov/18/who-lives-41-million-social-housing-homes-england-wales

                        So the entities you describe collectively make up less than half of the market. They ARE responsible for some of the current price level, but probably less so than the advent of women joining the workforce in huge numbers and the ballooning population caused by longevity increases, immigration, and birth rate. That, and the increasing trend to live alone.

                        1. This post has been deleted by its author

                          1. Anonymous Coward
                            Anonymous Coward

                            " I will assume that the new landlords are not purchasing other landlords properties (they are not selling)."

                            Our street of 25 modern mixed flats, maisonettes and terraced houses within easy rail commuting range of London - was all owner occupied when new in the 1970s. There are now at least 14 of the properties that are rentals - distributed between a few mostly professional landlords. Most of them are multiple occupancy.

                            Even some of the very large office block to "luxury" apartment conversions nearby are also rental only.

                    2. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      "WHO is buying up the houses at the increased prices that the sellers are able to command?"

                      A local BTL landlord owns at least two "multiple occupancy" houses in our small modern street and is reputed to have about 20 elsewhere. Recently two properties in the street came on the market on the same day at about £260K each. The next day that landlord had bought them both for cash.

                      When he bought a 3 bedroomed maisonette a neighbour counted ten new beds being delivered there in one day.

                      My presumption is that anyone who can fund the best part of half a million in cash like that must be fronting a consortium of people with money to invest in the expectation of good returns on rentals.

                      1. Anonymous Coward
                        Anonymous Coward

                        Err, house prices are high because it is government (and BoE) policy to keep them high - hence the billions spent on QE and Funding for Lending (i.e. cheap loans to banks so they can lend to small businesses - except they don't, they use it for mortgage loans instead).

                        House prices are largely determined by the availability of the means to pay for them, so while interest rates rates are kept artificially low house prices will remain high. This boosts the GDP figures the government uses to tell us how well they are doing, since the inflation figures are carefully calculated to exclude housing costs (even HCPI/CPIH, which uses "imputed rents" [i.e. made up numbers] instead of actual costs) so the "real" GDP remains high.

                        The nett effect of QE around the world has been to transfer wealth to the asset-holding, i.e. primarily the already wealthy. This is a one-way process which wont be reversed any time soon and, in theory, could within a generation create the modern equivalent of a feudal society.

                  2. cantbebothered

                    There's also the factor that as housing is seen as investment, they can be bought as just that, and left empty, which happens in the high end markets, having a effect top down. If you're rich, you can buy bigger house than you need, just to get a bigger return, further decreasing room.

                    And to those that say, oh, anyone ca can still afford a house, that wasn't my point, people can still have housing, they just have less money left over to spend on other things than that of previous generations. Proving with numbers that buying a house is theoretically possible doesn't really address the point.

                    Nor does the patronising implication that they aren't buying because it's not their perfect house

                    1. LucreLout Silver badge

                      And to those that say, oh, anyone ca can still afford a house, that wasn't my point, people can still have housing, they just have less money left over to spend on other things than that of previous generations.

                      Well yes, because assets appreciate over time. Try buying 10,000 Apple shares now and it'll cost you more than it would have cost your mam & dad.

                      Proving with numbers that buying a house is theoretically possible doesn't really address the point.

                      You've been born at a time when houses are expensive. Other things are cheaper - travelling the world has never been so cheap or accessible. Owning a car or a computer has never been cheaper. Getting laid has never been easier. Education has never been more accessible.

                      Its swings and roundabouts - you can't take the good without the bad. If you want a house, buy a house. If you'd prefer to spend you money on crushed avocado toast then have at it. Just don't complain when you find you can't spend the same pound twice.

                      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

                        You've been born at a time when houses are expensive

                        We bought our first house in 1989 and sold it (at a loss) in 1997. We then moved into the house where we now live - which has more than doubled in value in 20 years..

                        I well remember the days of 15% mortgages - it took the whole of one of our wages just to pay the mortgage. The various bits and pieces that went with the endowment (life assurance etc etc) took up about 20% of the other salary. And, being fairly young, we didn't have significant savings to offset the mortgage.

                        I don't miss those days at all.

                  3. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

                    Demand implies someone wants somewhere to live

                    And, as all economists know, if there is a demand that there is insufficient resources to fulfill, then the price for the resources that do exist will go up in price..

                3. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

                  Then where is the demand coming from

                  Lets put it this way - you grow up in a family home (with your 1.4 siblings). Sooner or later, you and your siblings want to leave home - which means that another 2-3 houses/flats are needed.

                  In previous generations, people only tended to leave home in order to get married - which means the demand was ~50% of what it is now.

              2. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

                well theres 8m more people than 30 years ago . dosent seem so bad .

                What i dont get is - people die and leave houses lying around all the time! so, slight population increases aside, Housing is a fixed number - not a continual slog. there should be plenty!

              3. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

                On the house prioce thing - why dont we just restrict mortgages to 3.5 x salary (instead of 10x) , and also implement large penalties for people owning multiple houses.

                Now i'd like to own a dozen houses and rent them out - but i'd still go with the above plan to stop me doing that because , well its fair . does that make me weird?

          2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

            It was a relatively common business occupation for widows

            Indeed - ditto for married women (which is why they called them 'ale-wives' - one of the essential skills was the brewing of small beers or ales - it was what everybody drank since it was a lot safer than the water because the brewing process and alcohol killed off the bugs).

            But, as you say, it was mostly the widows - women who had experience of brewing for their household but no longer had a man around earning money.

      2. tiggity Silver badge

        agree

        Expense severely limits my pub /club visits / drinks

      3. LucreLout Silver badge

        It's not something anyone in the UK wants to address, house prices are a growing problem that's going to bite it in the arse while everyone looks for something else to blame

        Houses are expensive - they pretty much always have been throuoghout history. Yes, some boomers got cheap houses, but most people didn't.

        I've demonstrated with numbers on this site previously why owning a home within a reasonable commute (ie shorter than my schelpathon into that London) is possible for even a minimum wage couple. Buying on your own is also possible, but it'll be a small flat, not a family home.

        Out of all the Millenials I work with, only one has bought their own property in their 20s, and he did that by saving hard for a deposit while renting as cheaply as possible, and then buying where he could afford (Essex, not zone 2 in London) and living with the 50 minute commute to work. He's not done anything the rest of his cohort couldn't have chosen to do, they just preferred to rent a more expensive place nearer work to live a "London lifestyle" (whatever that may be).

        I'm an old giffer now (Gen X) but I couldn't buy until I was in my early to mid 30s, because I didn't understand how money worked and ran up some impressive debts partying. Millenials are time rich, and there's really no imperative for them to jump on the housing ladder at the age most of them now are - they have plenty of time for the compromises, commitments, and trade offs a mortgage brings when they're in their 30s.

        1. James Anderson Silver badge

          Well said sir.

          England has always had a housing crisis. As is well documented by Cobbet, Dickens, Engels et al.

          If we baby boomers had it so good why did we need to found Shelter in the 1960s?

          The statistic most quoted compares home ownership now with the early 80s just after Thatcher's bargain basement sell off of nearly all England's social housing.

          A one off period never to be repeated.

          1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

            Thatcher's bargain basement sell off of nearly all England's social housing

            Which is still on the books - Right to Buy still has legal force. Which is one reason why councils are so reluctant to build housing (also, years of cuts means they don't have the money) since any housing stock that they do build and own can legally be bought by a tenant after a certain amount of time.

            Which is why most of the low-cost housing is owned by housing associations - being private bodies they don't come under the RtB scheme.

      4. rmason Silver badge

        @Cantbebothered

        What you said.

        100% backed.

        Edna (yes, really) our neighbour often queries why we worry so much about money.

        Edna who paid 11 grand for the identical house next door to ours wonders why we can't "budget properly" like they did. She was quite shocked to discover that would cover just a couple of years worth of our mortgage payments.

        *That*, Edna, is why we can't afford to pay someone to sort our garden/mow the lawn/wash the car.

        We go out probably once or twice a month, I drink at home so am not teetotal by any stretch, BUT i'm a professional on ok money and I still begrudge going to the pub when it's 8 cans of real ale for 9 quid in tesco. Hardly surprising that people my sisters age (i'm 35, she's mid 20s) either barely go out for a drunk *at all* or do nothing but go out for a drink (ie they rent, no kids, old car, job but not a career etc).

        "We" don't have the cash to go out on the lash from Friday PM to Sunday PM.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "[...] schools [...]"

      School summer fetes used to be a way for the community to contribute and see what a school was doing.

      Nowadays one of our secondary schools only allows attendance by people directly connected with the school - proved by turning up with your kids.

      A local junior school has effectively the same policy. Single old men are actively discouraged by a hovering teacher from playing any of the sideshow games manned by kids eg throwing hoops.

      Even giving the organising committee a generous cash donation is viewed with suspicion. A neighbour who I had met at the junior school fete told me that she had been approached to vouch for me after such a donation.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Bringing it back to drinking .... at the primary school my sons went to at the fund raising events (summer fete, quiz nights, etc) alcohol sales were one of the major sources of income. Maybe a new non-drinking generation of parents is one of the reasons for reductions in funding at schools!

    3. Spamfast Bronze badge
      Thumb Down

      The reason people aren't drinking is because of successive governments moves to abolish the pub through price rises etc..

      As I've pointed out before, the duty on a pint of beer is about 60 pence. (https://www.gov.uk/tax-on-shopping/alcohol-tobacco)

      Weatherspoon's often charge two pounds and the supermarkets less than one pound - they're still giving 60 pence of that to the treasury.

      It's the other pub management companies that are killing the pub by forcing their managers to buy and sell at ridiculously inflated prices. That and trying to turn every watering hole they own into some ghasty parody of a restaurant. (Restaurant prices, crappy food prepared by some halfwit with a catering cerificate and a hygiene problem and lousy or non-existent table service.)

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    [people tend to] binge alcohol on their heaviest drinking day

    I'm not sure I find this surprising, even given the arguably low "binge" limits.

    Surely it'd be more useful to know (the distribution of) how often people passed the "binge" limits, rather than whether (or not) they managed it at least once.

  6. msknight Silver badge
    Joke

    Nothing to do with age...

    ... I'm just out of practice. My head can't take it any more, and they don't make toilets like they used to. Also, the modern loo bowl disinfectants smell horrible.... that's enough of a disincentive on its own, against getting slaughtered like I used to.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What's all this about "mine's full" drinking ... there's a simple solution to that

  8. PJ H
    Trollface

    Tee-totallers die earlier..

    ...I mean, that's the only possible explanation a state-funded puritan could take away from this, isn't it?:

    "The Office of National Statistics reports that teetotalism is rising among all age groups under 44 and declining with the over-65s."

  9. hplasm Silver badge
    Pint

    I don't 'Binge ' drink.

    I don't like the taste of Binge.

    I'm much more of a Spree drinker!

    1. chivo243 Silver badge

      Re: I don't 'Binge ' drink.

      @hplasm

      Serial drinker here...

      1. Korev Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: I don't 'Binge ' drink.

        I'm a cereal drinker..

        It requires some preprocessing first before it metamorphosises into something wonderful -->

        1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

          Re: I don't 'Binge ' drink.

          A mate of mine distills his own extremely cheap whisky using Cornflakes.

          It's surprisingly good. I'm not saying it's absolutely good, but for drinking with a mixer ( how he drinks it ) it's perfectly adequate.

          A rough how-to is here: http://forum.moderndistiller.com/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=2895

          ( You need a license to distil in the UK, I doubt my friend has one. Don't do this unless you know how to not make methanol, which will blind and/or kill you )

        2. Glenturret Single Malt

          Re: I don't 'Binge ' drink.

          "I'm a cereal drinker.."

          In Marks and Spencer this morning, I saw bottles labelled "Oat Drtink". Looks like just the thing for you.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: I don't 'Binge ' drink.

            Last time I looked, the malt your namesake is made out of is a cereal, specifically barley. When you boil it all down to basics, beer, whisky and bread are pretty much the same thing ... the devil is in the details. So yes, we are (nearly) all cereal drinkers.

    2. Stork Silver badge

      Re: I don't 'Binge ' drink.

      "I'm much more of a Spree drinker!"

      THAT sounds dubious! From the river in Berlin?

  10. Flatpackhamster

    Demographic change a factor?

    Could it not also be that a rising migrant population from cultures that abstain from drinking is increasing the figure? If you've got 1 in 20 or 1 in 10 people who are told they're forbidden from touching the stuff, that will make a difference to the numbers.

    1. wolfetone

      Re: Demographic change a factor?

      It'd have an impact, but then it'd impact the other numbers as well (the older generation).

      I fucking hate the term millenials. I'm classed as one, and I drink copious amounts when I want to. Either a bottle of red wine on a Sunday afternoon/evening, or 15 pints of Guinness on a Saturday while watching the rugby or football. The wife, however, doesn't drink alot and accuses me of being an alcoholic.

      Trust me, the only alcohol problem I have is that a decent bottle of the wine I like costs £12.99 when I don't buy 6 at a time. And I can barely afford to buy 6 of them at once.

      1. ArrZarr Silver badge
        WTF?

        Re: Demographic change a factor?

        Personally, I just never understood why I would want to turn myself into (more of) an idiot if it were purely optional.

        On the Binge limit, even I think it's low. The only time I've had anything alcoholic in the last 8 years was a glass of bubbly upon moving into my first house and that apparently almost put me over the limit (see icon).

        1. wolfetone

          Re: Demographic change a factor?

          "On the Binge limit, even I think it's low. The only time I've had anything alcoholic in the last 8 years was a glass of bubbly upon moving into my first house and that apparently almost put me over the limit (see icon)."

          What's even funnier is that when I was in Ireland I was drinking a can of Guinness. On the side of the can it said the Irish Units were 1.8, but the UK Units were 2.2. The ABV is the same for both countries.

          I honestly think they make all of this up. How can two countries say a beer is +/- .5 units?

          1. Flatpackhamster

            Re: Demographic change a factor?

            "I honestly think they make all of this up. How can two countries say a beer is +/- .5 units?"

            Because the unit calculation is a political and not a scientific one, as is evidenced by the fact that the unit calculation for alcoholic drinks magically changed in the last five years.

            1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

              Re: Demographic change a factor?

              "Because the unit calculation is a political and not a scientific one"

              yep they didnt even give the unit a name - just stuck with "unit"

              So , as we all know the 'reg is a fan of units , I invite suggestions for names for a dose of booze.

        2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: Demographic change a factor?

          I just never understood why I would want to turn myself into (more of) an idiot if it were purely optional

          Alcohol doesn't have that effect of everyone y'know. I can drink most people under the table (thanks to fortunate genetics!) but have never, ever been in a situation where I don't know what I'm doing or done stupid things that I then can't remember..

          (I did once pour a pint of water over someones head after I'd played draughts with whisky and then had some Mild and cider to wash away the taste. But I knew exactly what I was doing when I did it and would probably have done it even when sober..)

          So, in conclusion - sadly, I can't attribute stupid things I've done to alcohol :-(

      2. Flatpackhamster

        Re: Demographic change a factor?

        "It'd have an impact, but then it'd impact the other numbers as well (the older generation)."

        Not necessarily so, because migrants tend to be younger (ie of working age).

      3. handleoclast

        Re: Demographic change a factor?

        Trust me, the only alcohol problem I have is that a decent bottle of the wine I like costs £12.99

        That's easy to fix. Drink it out of a pint glass. Gulp down the first half pint of it in one go, so you barely taste it. Wait for it to kick in. The rest of it tastes fine when consumed at a more normal pace.

        It's also more efficient. You metabolize alcohol at a rate that disposes of half a pint of beer every hour, so if you spend an hour drinking a pint you only have a half-pint's worth of alcohol at the end of it (simplified explanation ignoring the differential equations needed for an accurate solution). Drink slowly and it takes longer to get hammered. If you want to get hammered cheaply, consume a lot quickly then top it off as the evening wears on. Which is the original definition of binge drinking, and (so I have read) a common practise in Russia.

        BTW, I remember when the original recommendations for maximum alcohol consumption came out. Everyone in the office was reading their newspaper (arrive at work, remove jacket, read newspaper) and saw this around the same time. Conversation naturally arose, along the lines of "I'm well within that limit. Even when I set out to get hammered I'm still within that limit." Then somebody pointed out it was a weekly limit, not a daily one. Much consternation all around.

        1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: Demographic change a factor?

          Trust me, the only alcohol problem I have is that a decent bottle of the wine I like costs £12.99

          Buy online, in bulk. It's cheaper that way..

          (Hic, haec, hoc)

      4. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

        Re: Demographic change a factor?

        Trust me, the only alcohol problem I have is that a decent bottle of the wine I like costs £12.99 when I don't buy 6 at a time. And I can barely afford to buy 6 of them at once.

        Get down to Aldi this week - Very decent wine ( according to the mrs) for £3 bottle . Get 6. If you cant afford to have £15 of capital tied up for the duration of drinking 6 bottles then the "Millenials cant afford stuff" theory is true!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Demographic change a factor?

          "Get down to Aldi this week - Very decent wine"

          I've never had wine from Aldi that wasn't awful and didn't give me a headache. Perfectly decent wine can be obtained for around 6 or 7 quid from most decent supermarkets. I'm not sure I'd trust anything much cheaper.

          On the topic of pub prices, I went to The Water Rats in Kings Cross the other day. The last time I went there it was a bit tatty, put on good gigs and had reasonably-priced beer. Now it's a soulless gastropub with terrible bands and beer at over £5 a pint. I will avoid it in future.

  11. Pen-y-gors Silver badge
    Pint

    They'll grow up

    Research tends to show that in many ways 'childhood' is being greatly extended. Although 'youngsters' tend to have a lot of freedom they are also very sheltered until they are well on in age - the 30-year-olds still living with mum and dad, and depending on them for money. None of this 'going down t' pit at 14' nonsense now.

    So maybe, as good beer is a grown-ups drink, we'll see them hitting the ale when they're 40? I do hope so. At the moment it seems to be fancy (expensive) gin. But from seeing the streets on a Friday night there's still a long way to go until we see the Hallelulia Lasses of the Salvation Army attracting hundreds to their temperance meetings. But who knows...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: They'll grow up

      Twenty years ago a thirty-year-old could afford to buy their own house. These days? It's either live with your folks or spend most of your income on rent. Buying a house is one of those fantasies old people talk about.

      1. LucreLout Silver badge

        Re: They'll grow up

        Buying a house is one of those fantasies old people talk about.

        This? Again? Seriously?

        40 hour work week @ min wage of £7.83 = £313.12 / week or £16,286.40 per annum.

        That produces a mortgage amount of £57,002.40 (3.5 times salary) or £130,291.20 for a couple (4x joint salary).

        Add to that the 10% deposit and we get a total available of £62,702.40 and £143,320.20

        I've deliberately ignored things like overtime, any welfare top ups, and the fact that most people don't earn the minimum wage.

        Thus a single person can well afford a one bed flat in much of the country and a couple can afford a small family home almost anywhere. I've used Luton as a starting point and there's 78 properties available within 40 miles for the single person, and almost 2000 available for the couple. The same search for Barnsley yields 1168 results and almost 9000 respectively.

        I trust that we can now lay this cannard of the young to rest, yes?

        What you can't buy, what people have never been able to buy, was the equivalent of the family home you grew up in as a first house, or a zone 1 London flat. Its called the housing ladder for a reason - you start at the bottom and work your way up. The term "Starter home" has a clue in the name.

        1. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
          Stop

          Re: They'll grow up

          So, with that £1300/month before tax -> say £1000/month received.

          Average around £100/month to commute (because the cheap places aren't next door to where you work)

          Rent of £600/month.

          Council tax: £100/month.

          Heating, food, etc etc comes to more than what's left.

          Where does this 10% deposit come from? and if you can save that 10% so easily, just stick it in a savings account and save yourself even more before buying a house with cash, surely?

          It's all easy when you've got money. It's bloody tough when you're on the poverty line.

          1. LucreLout Silver badge

            Re: They'll grow up

            So, with that £1300/month before tax -> say £1000/month received.

            £1,205 actually, so you're only out by 20% so far.

            Average around £100/month to commute (because the cheap places aren't next door to where you work)

            No, but minimum wage jobs ARE right next to where you live. Thus your commuting cost should be £0.00

            It makes literally no sense to spend £5 per day (your number) commuting when you can walk to the end of your street or the next one over and get a minimum wage job there.

            Rent of £600/month.

            You must be joking. Rightmove shows more than 600 properties within 40 miles of Luton for a maximum of £400. There's an extra £200 in the pot right there, combined with the extrat £200 you got wrong on the tax calculation, and the £100 commute cost you're up to £500 saving already.

            It's all easy when you've got money. It's bloody tough when you're on the poverty line.

            The trick is to get from the latter to the former. It helps if you start by getting your numbers, and so facts, correct. You've doubled down on the costs for even minimum wage individuals, which is why you can't see the wood for the trees.

            You're entitled to disagree, but you're going to need to start presenting somme facts by way of rebuttal, not just downvotes and emotion; it's a good name for a band, but no way to win a debate.

            1. ArrZarr Silver badge
              Boffin

              Re: They'll grow up

              So, excluding your assertion that commuting costs should be zero:

              +£1200

              -£400 -> £800 //Rent

              -£100 -> £700 //Council Tax

              -£40 -> £660 //Internet

              -£150 -> £510 //Food

              -£30 -> £480 //Water

              -£80 -> £400 //Gas + Leccy

              -£40 -> £360 //Bus tickets

              An existence where you do nothing but Eat, sleep, work and browse the internet leaves you with £360pm, meaning that you can put together your 10% deposit for a £100k home in a mere two and a half years.

              Looking at Luton, 100K buys you a flat. The cheapest house that isn't shared ownership costs £140k if the guide price for the auction doesn't increase or £160k for a non auction property.

              You may note that £160k is larger than the joint mortgage you can get (not available to the single person this excercise is targeted at) but your deposit will be attainable in 5 years...except that house prices will have risen in the meantime.

              You can quibble with the numbers but I don't see you taking more than £50 off the list above but said list is a dull existence so I hope you don't mind me using that £50 for entertainment purposes instead.

              1. LucreLout Silver badge

                Re: They'll grow up

                An existence where you do nothing but Eat, sleep, work and browse the internet leaves you with £360pm

                No, it leaves you with £400. Assuming you don't want to work any overtime at all, because, I dunno, you're trying to save a deposit or something....

                meaning that you can put together your 10% deposit for a £100k home in a mere two and a half years.

                Firstly you say that as though 2.5 years is a long time. It isn't. I had to save longer than that for my deposit.

                Secondly, the single FTB you've accounted for doesn't need a 10k deposit, they only need 7k. Thus, we can see the deposit will only take 15 months, again assuming they don't make any effort to work even a single hours overtime in order to buy their own house.

                Looking at Luton, 100K buys you a flat. Try setting the radius to 40 miles not "this area only" and you'll see the number I gave is accurate. Yours is not.

                You may note that £160k is larger than the joint mortgage you can get (not available to the single person this excercise is targeted at) but your deposit will be attainable in 5 years...except that house prices will have risen in the meantime.

                Single people don't buy family homes, they buy flats because oddly enough, they can only sleep in one bedroom. Its a starter home - not a palace; check your expectations.

                Even assuming we double down the cost of a single person, a two earner minimum wage couple can save £800 a month. In reality, the rent doesn't double and nor does council tax or utilities, so lets keep the numbers simple at £1000 per month. That's your deposit done in 15 months, which again is NOT a long time. Assuming prices rise (minimum wage will too by the way), you'd still only need to save for another month for your deposit.

                You can quibble with the numbers but I don't see you taking more than £50 off the list above but said list is a dull existence so I hope you don't mind me using that £50 for entertainment purposes instead.

                Use it for whatever you want, but if you're not willing to sacrifice paid for entertainment (walks, museums, libraries etc are free) to save up for your deposit, don't expect the rest of us to feel sorry for you that you can't afford to buy. You make your choices and you live with the results.

                1. ArrZarr Silver badge

                  Re: They'll grow up

                  What's overtime? When I was on the minimum wage, I wasn't able to claim overtime for anything. If you don't claim overtime then you're looking at working evenings in a supermarket or something similar. Please also explain where you get £400 from as my maths is clear. Libraries may be free but good luck finding one near you. Same with museums.

                  There are many reasons not to buy a flat, most of which have been extolled by other commentators so I won't repeat it here.

                  While I agree that it's not impossible for a single person to successfully save enough money to get onto the housing ladder, it's damned hard. Having recently been through the pain of buying my first house, I can guarantee that you'll need more than 7.5k in the bank to successfully buy the house too through conveyancer's fees, survey costs and moving costs.

                  1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

                    Re: They'll grow up

                    Two young friends of mine recently bought houses ( separately ). The worked ever hour god sent to save up for them.

                  2. LucreLout Silver badge

                    Re: They'll grow up

                    What's overtime? When I was on the minimum wage, I wasn't able to claim overtime for anything. If you don't claim overtime then you're looking at working evenings in a supermarket or something similar.

                    And working overtime in a supermarket is a problem why, exactly? Its a job I've held myself many moons ago.

                    Please also explain where you get £400 from as my maths is clear.

                    Add up the left column. Either you've done your maths wrong or you're not being realistic about which number you should be adding.

                    Libraries may be free but good luck finding one near you.

                    https://www.statista.com/topics/1838/libraries-in-the-uk/

                    Well, there's over 4000 of them in the UK. Someone must be living near them.

                    Same with museums.

                    https://www.museumsassociation.org/about/frequently-asked-questions

                    There's over 2500 of them too. Are you suggesting they are all in places nobody lives? has anyone told their directors?

                    There are many reasons not to buy a flat, most of which have been extolled by other commentators so I won't repeat it here.

                    There are many reasons not to buy anything. You're talkinng about minimum wage first time buyers here - if they aren't supposed to be buying the cheaper properties then please advise who it is you think should be? It'd beillegal for someone to be in a worse financial position and yet still they can own a home if they choose to do so.

                    While I agree that it's not impossible for a single person to successfully save enough money to get onto the housing ladder, it's damned hard.

                    'twas ever thus and thus it will ever be.

                    Having recently been through the pain of buying my first house, I can guarantee that you'll need more than 7.5k in the bank to successfully buy the house too through conveyancer's fees, survey costs and moving costs.

                    Ok, chuck on another 2k for costs and move yourself (I did). You're still talking about a deposit for a first home in around 18 months on minimum wage. That just is not a problem, not a real one anyway. The expectation gap between what is affordable and what is desireable is where the real problem lies.

                2. Snowy Silver badge
                  Facepalm

                  Re: They'll grow up

                  @1 hr LucreLout

                  The sums also do not account for putting money into a workplace pension.

                  1. LucreLout Silver badge
                    Facepalm

                    Re: They'll grow up

                    The sums also do not account for putting money into a workplace pension.

                    That's because its entirely optional that you do so..... much like a coke & hookers budget it can be foregone for a period of time sufficient to accrue a deposit.

                    https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/opting-out-your-workplace-pension

                3. ArrZarr Silver badge

                  Re: They'll grow up

                  Actually, re-reading your post, I noticed this section:

                  "Try setting the radius to 40 miles"

                  Hold on a second - playing with a 40 mile radius is a whole different board game. Before I got a car, commuting 5 miles on public transport was an hour each way (this is where I got my transport costs from). Anything over 10 miles on public transport would be intolerable. Your argument with a 40 mile radius is only valid if you accommodate for owning a car in which case available money plummets due to the running and maintenance costs of the horrible little rustbucket that you'd be able to afford. Looking within 10 miles, you are still looking at an apartment or shared ownership (or a houseboat!)

                  If I'm honest, I think we're both coming at the same point from both ends but we disagree on the feasibility of getting a deposit together for a first time buyer. Not impossible but very hard and even then you need to find the right house in the right place which doesn't necessarily exist.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: They'll grow up

                    "[...] or a houseboat!"

                    Moorings tend to be expensive in any large city - unless you aim to use public moorings and move every few weeks.

                  2. LucreLout Silver badge

                    Re: They'll grow up

                    Hold on a second - playing with a 40 mile radius is a whole different board game

                    Yes, it is. It opens a whole world of possibility and opportunity.

                    Before I got a car, commuting 5 miles on public transport was an hour each way (this is where I got my transport costs from). Anything over 10 miles on public transport would be intolerable.

                    And yet I do so every single working day and have done for decades. Pretty well everyone that works in London but does not live there (about 3 million people) endure this, so I'm afraid there is no reason why any of us would consider that unreasonable.

                    Further, as explained, we're talking minimum wage - just get a job where you live, or find out where you can afford to buy and get a job there. It's minimum wage - by definition literally any job will do.

                    Your argument with a 40 mile radius is only valid if you accommodate for owning a car in which case available money plummets due to the running and maintenance costs of the horrible little rustbucket that you'd be able to afford.

                    Nope, wrong. See above.

                    Also, I use a 40 mile radius because that's pretty much MY commute, and I do it on public transport. Commuting is not required for a local minimum wage job, but I thought as its a distance I and millions of others commute daily, it'd make a simple example for how anyone could buy within a reasonable proximity of almost anywhere in the UK.

                    Not impossible but very hard and even then you need to find the right house in the right place which doesn't necessarily exist.

                    Of course its hard, but I've deliberately made the 'buyer' as far down the income scale as is legally possible to show that even then, property may be bought with as little as 18 months of hard saving. A few hours overtime a day would have that well under a year.

                    The right place is whatever place you can afford to live. For minimum wage there will be jobs within walking distance for almost any town or city in the UK.

                    1. ArrZarr Silver badge
                      Megaphone

                      Re: They'll grow up

                      Okay, here we go:

                      The commute:

                      This is time based and highly dependent upon local public transport. Instead of looking within 40 miles, you need to look at time to commute in. For much of the country, this is far inferior to the London commute. A season rail ticket for Bedford to Luton costs £2.7k, Milton Keynes to Luton is £3.1k according to the National rail season ticket calculator, working out at £10 - £12 per day - £200-£220 for the working days in a month. Bus tickets for Luton and Dunstable work out at £61 per month

                      Minimum wage jobs within walking distance:

                      The job market isn't that lenient.

                      As far as I can tell, you are saying that it's damn hard to build a deposit even if there is right house in the right place near the right job and it's the buyer's fault if these three options don't line up.

                      Finally, you made me doubt myself enough that I put this through a calculator, but I can confirm that 1200-(400+100+150+40+40+30+80)=360

                      1. LucreLout Silver badge

                        Re: They'll grow up

                        Minimum wage jobs within walking distance:

                        The job market isn't that lenient.

                        Yes it is. It absolutely is. The commuting cost for a minimum wage job is a short walk away from almost every single address in England. £0.00

                        As far as I can tell, you are saying that it's damn hard to build a deposit even if there is right house in the right place near the right job and it's the buyer's fault if these three options don't line up.

                        Saving for 18 months isn't damn hard. Its a very short time to need to save a deposit - many people save for several years, I know I did.

                        Its the buyers fault if they think they should be able to buy a modern family home in a nice area "because they're worth it" when they haven't applied themselves well enough to have the income that would fund it. Who elses fault could that be?

                        All buyers can afford to live somewhere. Some buyers can afford to live where they wish. It's always been that way. It always will be. The main difference is Millennials moan about it like no other generation before or since, because they seemt o expect to have instant gratification for their least little whim. Why is that, I wonder?

                        Finally, you made me doubt myself enough that I put this through a calculator, but I can confirm that 1200-(400+100+150+40+40+30+80)=360

                        See, you've gone wrong. One of those 40s is the nonexistant commute you keep demanding someone do for no other reason than it makes your argument £10 a week less wrong. If you think you can name a single town or city in the UK where there are not minimum wage jobs within an hours walk, name it. There isn't one.

                  3. onefang Silver badge

                    Re: They'll grow up

                    "Before I got a car, commuting 5 miles on public transport was an hour each way (this is where I got my transport costs from). "

                    I was avoiding all the housing talk, but this caught my eye.

                    There was a place I used to work at where catching the bus there took an hour, coz I had to catch a bus into the city, then one out again, no direct bus. It also took me an hour to walk there. I kinda like walking. So unless the weather was crazy, I'd always walk. Much cheaper, and good for me.

              2. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

                Re: They'll grow up

                I don't want to be too much of a dick about this, because I do reckon that Lucrelout has underestimated costs, but you've at least partly overestimated them. Internet, food, and utilities tend not to be that expensive, and a five mile commuting distance can be cycled.

                However, of course they don't contain emergency costs, clothing upkeep, and some entertainment. There's more to life than just owning a house, people want to maintain/grow friendships, and establish relationships too.

                Having said that I reckon Lucrelout has a point : many people are not prepared to move a not unreasonable distance from a city because they want to be able to stay out late and be very close to their friends. That's fine, and understandable, but you can't have it both ways.

                Still, I hope people continue to make those decisions, as I want to move house in the next 10-15 years or so to a detached house somewhere countryside-ish. If everyone else is prepared to put up with a bit of an inconvenient walk to the train station and difficulty staying out in a city much beyond 11, then there won't be much left for me..

          2. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

            Re: They'll grow up

            On £16,248/year, the monthly take home pay is £1,204.79 ( that's after income tax and NI ) for the 2018/19 tax year.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: They'll grow up

          What an overly simplistic and completely unrealistic view of the housing market. Let's break this down a bit:

          Guaranteed 40 hour working week - most minimum wage jobs are zero hour contracts these days. Even if you are lucky enough to have a full time contract there is no such thing as a stable job anymore. Companies will fire you in an instant if they can find labour cheaper or automate your job. Taking a mortgage is a serious risk in these conditions as at any time you can find yourself not only jobless but also homeless while still being tens of thousands in debt to the bank.

          Where does your magical 10% deposit come from? Not everyone has parents who can get them started. Trying to save the 10% while paying rent/bills etc could take years and savings can be quickly and unexpectedly eaten up by one disaster such as the car which is needed to get to work needing repair.

          Buying a flat is not really a purchase. At best it is just paying a lot of rent upfront. You will never own the property, they tend to be on a 99 year lease. Getting a cheap flat usually means that quite a lot of that lease has already expired. Selling the flat a few years down the line could not only result in struggling to get even the price you paid but could also end up being unsalable due to people not wanting to invest in a property doesn't have long enough on the lease. Add to that the additional expense on top of the mortgage of ground rent and service charges for the upkeep of the building.

          1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

            Re: They'll grow up

            Most minimum wage jobs are not zero hours.

            One in fourty people in this country are casual labour. Most of them ( ie: students ) *want* to be casual labour.

          2. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

            Re: They'll grow up

            Where does your magical 10% deposit come from? Not everyone has parents who can get them started

            In my personal experience....when I first started working, I was living at home. I paid bed and board to parents but it was considerably less than my outgoings would have been if I'd been living in my own place, so I was able to put money into savings. That built up over a year or two into enough of a deposit to get me onto the housing ladder

          3. LucreLout Silver badge

            Re: They'll grow up

            most minimum wage jobs are zero hour contracts these days

            http://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/CBP-7735/CBP-7735.pdf

            https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/earningsandworkinghours/articles/contractsthatdonotguaranteeaminimumnumberofhours/september2017

            So we can see that not only are you fundamentally wrong with your assertion, even assuming that all zero hours contracts pay minimum wage, but further, even if everyone on zero hours contracts is a millenial, "the number of people employed on “zero-hours contracts” in their main job, during April to June 2017 was 883,000, representing 2.8% of all people in employment." 2.8%....

            Now let this sink in "People on “zero-hours contracts” are more likely to be young, part-time, women or in full-time education when compared with other people in employment." So, tell me again, when students have ever bought houses? Or part time workers? That'll be never then.

            Taking a mortgage is a serious risk in these conditions as at any time you can find yourself not only jobless but also homeless while still being tens of thousands in debt to the bank.

            And yet that seems a lot less risky than also losing your job and having rent to find. Rent that the landlord will keep increasing. Especially given the government will pay the interest on your mortgage up to £200,000 - https://www.gov.uk/support-for-mortgage-interest/what-youll-get

            Trying to save the 10% while paying rent/bills etc could take years and savings can be quickly and unexpectedly eaten up by one disaster such as the car which is needed to get to work needing repair.

            You're going to find that has always been the case and yet other generations somehow managed to weather the storm.

            Buying a flat is not really a purchase.

            Fundamentally untrue unfortunately.

            You will never own the property, they tend to be on a 99 year lease.

            Fortunately lifespans tend to be less than that, so what you have there wouldn't be a problem, even if you couldn't renew or extend the lease, which you near universally can. The next but one town over to me is mostly leasehold at 999 years.

            Add to that the additional expense on top of the mortgage of ground rent and service charges for the upkeep of the building.

            You'll find that whatever home you buy requires upkeep and repair work. Your rent isn't only the landlords coke & hookers money.

            You've basically posted a fact free response without a single citation or accurate calculation. You've made a lot of assumptions readily provable as false with 30 seconds work on google. Its no wonder you think your life is hard if you can't do 30 seconds work to seperate fact from fiction.

            Facts people, use them to form opinions, your feelings however deeply held simply don't count for shit.

          4. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: They'll grow up

            "Getting a cheap flat usually means that quite a lot of that lease has already expired. Selling the flat a few years down the line could not only result in struggling to get even the price you paid but could also end up being unsalable due to people not wanting to invest in a property doesn't have long enough on the lease. Add to that the additional expense on top of the mortgage of ground rent and service charges for the upkeep of the building."

            The youngsters I know are chary about buying anything that is leasehold. They know that ground rents and lease extensions can be expensive. The government keeps saying they will do something to limit the excesses.

            An acquaintance is trying to sell his maisonette with only 50 years left on the nominal 99 year lease. No one will offer a buyer a mortgage for that reason. The potential cash buyer is a BTL landlord who owns about 20 properties. Even then the already low offer was conditional on him splashing out £36K first for the lease extension/buy out. In the end it is rumoured he has sold a potentially £260K property for £160K.

            The BTL buyer put in a simultaneous cash offer on another one that came up for sale on the same day. That means he has access to near enough half a million to spend on such acquisitions. My presumption is that he generates cash from a consortium of small business owners. A previous property he bought in the same street was a nominal 3 bedroom maisonette. A neighbour counted ten new beds being delivered for the multiple occupancy.

            1. LucreLout Silver badge

              Re: They'll grow up

              An acquaintance is trying to sell his maisonette with only 50 years left on the nominal 99 year lease. No one will offer a buyer a mortgage for that reason. The potential cash buyer is a BTL landlord who owns about 20 properties. Even then the already low offer was conditional on him splashing out £36K first for the lease extension/buy out. In the end it is rumoured he has sold a potentially £260K property for £160K.

              Assuming the case presented is true, your friend is an idiot.

              Instead of dropping 36k to increase the price by 100k, he's given away twice as much money in the discount he's given the buyer. Those are the facts as you've presented them.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: They'll grow up

                "Assuming the case presented is true, your friend is an idiot."

                We all agree on that he is appearing to be short-sighted. He should have bought the leasehold extension when it was on offer at a mere £9K a few years ago - as many of his neighbours did. On top of that he is going to move his family into rented accommodation.

                It is presumed he needs a chunk of cash in a hurry - and is in no position to raise £36K or wait about for the legal processes. He's been in the house for about 10 years so there is a fair bit of equity for him.

        3. phuzz Silver badge

          Re: They'll grow up

          £143K will buy you a flat? That's nice, I guess you live somewhere where that'll get you a flat that isn't so far away from where you work you might as well just change jobs. Except that the jobs close enough to affordable housing don't pay enough to reach the £143k mortgage.

          To be fair, there is housing association places for around that price, but owning 40% of a (tiny) flat isn't exactly the same as owning a house is it?

          As others have pointed out, saving for a deposit isn't exactly possible in less than a decade either, average rent on a single bed flat round me is £700+, so assuming you don't eat much, and have nothing else at all to spend money on, you could maybe save £1000 a year. It's normal to only go on holiday once every five years right?

          1. LucreLout Silver badge

            Re: They'll grow up

            £143K will buy you a flat? That's nice, I guess you live somewhere where that'll get you a flat that isn't so far away from where you work you might as well just change jobs.

            No, 143k will get you a house. It might not be in central london, but it will get you a house in or near almost any other city in England.

            I've already demonstrated at length why a minimum wage couple working a full time week can afford to buy it. That you don't want it to be true doesn;t change the facts as demonstrated.

            Except that the jobs close enough to affordable housing don't pay enough to reach the £143k mortgage.

            And yet they do. Two minimum wage earners can reach that house with just 18 mnths of saving for a deposit.

            As others have pointed out, saving for a deposit isn't exactly possible in less than a decade eithe

            Except that it is, as I've already shown with crystal clear maths, and citations to back this up. Everyone else has just whined that it isn't so, but can't disprove a single word I've said. Why might that be I wonder.

            average rent on a single bed flat round me is £700+, so assuming you don't eat much, and have nothing else at all to spend money on, you could maybe save £1000 a year. It's normal to only go on holiday once every five years right?

            If you're a minimum wage earner then go earn minimum wage somewhere cheaper. If £700 is the cheapest place you can find to rent then you must be in zone 1 London, or you simply feel that you're too good to rent a cheaper gaff. And, as I've already explained, facts matter, your feelings don't.

            If you want to prioritise going on holiday over saving for 18 months to buy your own home, then whose fault is it really that you can't afford to buy? Find a mirror and look in it; what you see if the cause of all your problems.

        4. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. ArrZarr Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: They'll grow up

      So what you're saying is that life is easier for us your whippersnappers and we'll take longer to become as miserable as the poor sods of previous generations that looking at the world through the bottom of a bottle becomes tempting enough to actually be considered?

      I'll drink to that.

      PS: Joke alert

    3. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

      Re: They'll grow up

      At my rugby club, the younger lads all tend to drink Strongbow Dark Fruits.

      I've heard it said that it's the new alcopop.

      1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

        Re: They'll grow up

        At my rugby club, the younger lads all tend to drink Strongbow Dark Fruits.

        I've heard it said that it's the new alcopop.

        true dat , I never drink cider , but in a no-lager-available emergency the other day I tried Dark fruits.

        Very nice - hasnt ghot that apple-sweet-overdose flavour of normal cider

        1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: They'll grow up

          hasnt ghot that apple-sweet-overdose flavour of normal cider

          That's not 'normal' cider. Normal cider is slightly cloudy, has unidentifiable bits floating in it and isn't too sweet.

          No - what you are talking about is a random selection of chemicals masquerading as cider (or what the mass breweries all cider). It bears the same relationship to proper cider at Watneys Red Barrel did to proper beer.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Alternatives

    I wonder if the decrease in alcohol consumption linked to increasing acceptability and availability of soft drugs?

    1. LucreLout Silver badge

      Re: Alternatives

      I wonder if the decrease in alcohol consumption linked to increasing acceptability and availability of soft drugs?

      No need to hang out in a pub or nightclub drinking all night in the hope of getting laid - you just whip out your mobile and swipe... right (I think). If they'd had this sort of stuff when I was 20, I'd have drank less too!

    2. sandman

      Re: Alternatives

      Hmm, I always found the the availability of soft drugs led to an increase in alcohol consumption (or was it the other way round, it's hard to remember) ;-)

      1. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

        Re: Alternatives

        Hmm, I always found the the availability of soft drugs led to an increase in the consumption of crisps ;-)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Alternatives

          " led to an increase in the consumption of crisps"

          Which if salty led to an increased thirst.

          1. Huw D Silver badge

            Re: Alternatives

            "Which if salty led to an increased thirst."

            Which led to a further few spliffs while the discussion about who was going down the shop to get more booze and munchies happened.

  13. oldngone

    Perceptions of drinking habits

    It's the results of a survey.

    From the report "It is likely that the data reported here underestimate drinking levels to some extent. Social surveys consistently produce estimates of alcohol consumption that are lower than the levels indicated by alcohol sales data. "

    How does the perception compare with reality? Are the total sales of alcohol in the UK going up or down?

    1. SkippyBing Silver badge

      Re: Perceptions of drinking habits

      Exactly! It's relying on self-reporting, which as anyone who has a regular medical knows involves taking what you think the safe limit is supposed to be and removing a few so you look like you take a responsible approach to your health.

      So like you I'd ask what sales are doing, and what the incidence rates are for alcohol related diseases. Without that information the survey is pretty much irrelevant as people lie.

  14. Nolveys Silver badge
    Windows

    Nobody minds a man having a morning eye-opener and it's OK to have a bracer about 10 A.M. and a couple of drinks before lunch. A few beers on a hot afternoon keeps a man healthy, or at least happy. And, of course everyone drinks at a cocktail hour. A man can't be criticized for having wine with his dinner, a liqueur afterwards, and a highball or two during the evening. But this business of sip, sip, sip, all day long has got to stop!

    1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      But this business of sip, sip, sip, all day long has got to stop!

      If you look back in history (in this country anyway) we are at historically-low levels of drinking anyway. After all, drinking water these days isn't a short-cut to the morgue..

      (And the levels of consumption of alcohol in the Georgian days was enormous - especially in the middle and upper classes.. I seem to remember reading about how an average gentleman would consume up to 6 bottles of claret[1] a day. Even though wine wasn't as alcoholic then (yeasts having inproved somewhat) that's still a *lot* of booze).

      [1] Was it a former El Reg journo that used to be enthusiastic about his claret? My memory-retrieval apparatus appears a trifle fogged..

  15. Chris G Silver badge

    Kids o' today pfft!

    When I were a teen int' '60s, we used to crash a Saturday night party wi' a couple o' bottles of Woodpecker cider. After that had been recycled into the flower beds we'd look for the parent's stash o' creme de menthe and sherry, polish that off 'cos it were there, then, after vomiting on their sofa we'd stagger off to sleep somewhere in't small hours, wake up wi' a mad bull trying to crash it's way out of yer 'ead while the vampire slugs were trying to eat their way outta yer stomach.

    But we'd be in the pub by Sunday lunchtime!

    The above may be why I don't drink much nowadays, I had probably hit the modern lifetime total of alcohol units by the time I was 21,possibly by 18.

    Ahh those were t' days!

  16. Korev Silver badge
    Pint

    Selfies?

    A lot of "millennials" are into sports and looking good for Social Media etc. Alcohol has a load of calories in which won't help you in the quest to "look good". Is that another contributing factor?

    What they don't know they're missing -->

    1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

      Re: Selfies?

      Apparently millennials are less into sport than previous generations.

      Around the country, the number of teams in each rugby club is on average shrinking because there isn't enough kids coming through ( eg: a club that used to put out 6 teams at different levels every week may now have 4 ).

      It's not surprising when the latest generation have grown up in front of a games console rather than playing out with their mates. I'm just young enough to qualify as a millennial, we played computer games because our mates weren't playing out, not instead.

  17. not.known@this.address Bronze badge
    FAIL

    It was on telly so it must be right!

    Last night's ITV news (can't remember if it was the local or national "show") had a couple of, um, interesting graphics; one said that just over 77% of women over 25 regularly drink more than the recommended limit while just over 22% of women under 25 don't drink as much as the recommended limit and they said this PROVES people's habits are changing...

    Mind you, since roughly 65% of the under-25s cannot legally drink at all, I can't help wondering what this says about the "ladies" in the 18-25 range...

  18. handleoclast

    The real reason alcohol consumption is down

    People, especially young people, are turning to other recreational chemicals. More fun, and without taxation, often cheaper.

  19. T. F. M. Reader Silver badge

    Social (network) angle

    In my experience drinking is predominantly social: with mates at a pub, with friends at dinner, with one's partner/spouse on a date, whatever. Personally, I think moderate drinking is a very positive component of social interactions. Drinking alone may be a much sadder phenomenon, even if I see nothing wrong with a glass of wine to accompany dinner (but that's not even close to "binge", is it?).

    So, what part of the observed decline in alcohol consumption among millennials can be attributed to their spending time alone, on a sofa, in front of a messaging app du jour on a small screen rather than out and about in good company?

  20. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

    Millennials don't need to rent a seat in a pub to socialise or hook up, there are apps for that now. I have an app to find wine,... but then I'm a boomer.

  21. Roj Blake Silver badge

    Avocados

    If these kids didn't spend so much money on smashed avocados and beard oil they might be able to afford the occasional pint.

  22. 89724905708169238590784I93056703497430967343467734786478523498635923556485449963138571485_LONG_PING Bronze badge

    Pubs are far too expensive!

    Once a brewery realises any pub is doing well, they ratchet up the rates leading to higher and higher prived pints and poverty among young people is at an all time (modern era) high: They get high instead: glue, coke, weed, weird looking smiley face pills, anything but alcohol! And suddenly coke is affordable and everywhere (some teens tried to sell me some the other day outside Tesco - they looked about 14-16 years old), how the hell did that happen? The affordability, not the teenage drug dealing...

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why I don't drink so much anymore...

    I like booze just fine; drank obscene amounts of the stuff while in college. But these days I *vastly* prefer to get high on marijuana instead. No hangover and zero calories.

    Ford: It's a bit unpleasant, like being drunk.

    Arthur: What's so unpleasant about being drunk?

    Ford: Ask a glass of water.

    [The Vogon ship enters hyperspace]

    Arthur: Ugh! I'll never be cruel to a gin-and-tonic again!

  24. davemcwish
    Pint

    Yoof drinking

    In my case it was Diesel (Snake-Bite & Black) at < £2 a pint. Latterly I matured to Stout / Newky Brown / Cider as tastes changed.

    Icon - I'll give the cheapo gassy lager (Tennants) a miss.

  25. J27 Bronze badge

    Yeah...

    I suspect Millennials aren't drinking partly because we're broke. I consider myself an occasional drinker and I can't think of the last time I drank 4 pints in a day. And among my friends I'm one of the bigger drinkers. A lot of them don't drink at all!

    So this doesn't come as a shock to me.

  26. AdamWill

    unwarranted scepticism

    "but unlike the wise scienticians who get paid to tell us what's good for us, we are not health "experts", are we?"

    well, no, you're not. That's sort of the point. Your frame of reference for not considering four pints of beer to be binge drinking is...well...that you like beer, apparently? Whereas the frame of reference the scientists are using is...a well-publicized recent history of high quality, huge scale studies which pretty solidly indicate that drinking at that rate is damaging to your health.

    So: yes, they're the experts. What this means is they're right.

    You don't have to *like* it. You don't even have to drink less because of it: you are entirely free to decide that the benefit to the You Right Now of drinking large quantities of beer outweighs the benefits to Future You of You Right Now *not* having drunk large quantities of beer. It's your choice. But you don't get to just scoff and say "well obviously they're wrong to say it's bad for me cos I like drinking beer so they must be wrong".

    This column is going to age about as well as one from the mid-70s scoffing about this so-called "lung cancer research"...

    1. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

      Re: unwarranted scepticism

      Well, no.

      The last time I took a look at one of these studies (linked to on thereg), it amazingly coincided with the government's opinion. It basically said that no alcohol is best, and that a fair bit of alcohol reduced your lifespan by a measurable and significant amount.

      The in-between bit? Nothing. No stats.

      That's not informed consent, that's pushing a point. Provide the data and let me choose on average how many years I want to knock off my lifespan. I'll be happy, it probably won't affect my overall health too much, and it'll make the brewing industry happy too.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "This column is going to age about as well as one from the mid-70s scoffing about this so-called "lung cancer research"..."

    Those were the days when shops had special large packs of cigarettes with Xmas motifs - to be given as presents by kids to their fathers.

    My parents and sibling all died of lung cancer - either from direct smoking or passive smoking. You were passive smoking at home, on the bus to school/work, and in the cinema - not to mention the fug in the teachers' staff room. Truly a miasma wherever you went

    It was the late 1980s before IT offices started to ban smoking except in "smoking rooms". The early attempts merely redistributed that room's smoke through the building via the air conditioning.

  28. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge
    Pint

    I blame craft beer

    When that barrel aged soured white stout with raspberry and cocoa costs as much as a case of piss water, well you can't afford to get drunk any more...

    More seriously, it has become trendy to enjoy your drinks and favour quality over quantity. And thank fuck for that!

  29. MyNameIsNathan

    Frankly,

    We all prefer smoking weed. It's more cost effective, and it fucking cures cancer, instead of rotting you from the inside out.

    Many of our parents are alcoholics. We grew up watching the divorce rate rise as it became more acceptable.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Frankly,

      "We all prefer smoking weed."

      Smoking anything that burns is probably not good for your mouth, throat, and lungs. Even burnt toast or meat has been described as a cancer risk for various soft tissues in the body.

      The way forward is for the decriminalisation of many drugs - plus education about how to enjoy the benefits with the least risk of undesirable side-effects. A policy that has only recently been used for the similar properties of alcohol.

    2. AdamWill

      Re: Frankly,

      "and it fucking cures cancer"

      No. No it doesn't.

  30. Gustavo Fring

    smi

    i HAVE IN THE PAST HAD cause to claim SMI , and that was before it was a loan .The truth is it doesn't kick in until you have been claiming specific benefits for nine months ...And now they have made it a repayable loan. It also uses an interest rate, (to calculate what they will lend you) which is significantly lower than the one you will be paying (leaving a significant shortfall , possibly 50%+). And if your mortgage is in any way complicated eg two lenders , then they will only lend on one mortgage. So not such a great safety net after all. And of course it continues to accrue interest until it is paid back, on sale or disposal of your house. Better than nothing I suppose ....

    4 pints is not binge drinking , 4 glasses is not binge drinking...

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