The system has worked for Boomers at every stage of their lives

If Tories do not wish to be seen as a party for older people, they must give the younger generation a break on housing and wages

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Lucy Burton’s powerful article last week on the wealth of many of our pensioners was absolutely right. Their incomes are higher. Their wealth is greater. The state is being reshaped around services and payments for them. Many pensioners challenge her by saying that what they get now is a fair return after they have paid in during … Continued

How Britain became a gerontocracy

The pensions boost is further proof that Britain is run for the benefit of the older generation — paid for by the young, writes David Willetts

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Last week’s announcement of the return of the triple lock for pensions makes it clear where real political power lies in Britain. Pensioners are promised a 10 per cent increase next year, matching inflation, while basic pay is rising at just 4 per cent. This is the latest example of a deep-seated trend: our country … Continued

Wrong time, wrong place – leaving education in the middle of a downturn

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Modern economies are supposed to deliver improving living standards – incrementally year-on-year, with big gains decade-on-decade. That is why it is so shocking that a 30-year-old today earns no more than a 30-year-old a decade ago, according to previous research by the Resolution Foundation’s Intergenerational Commission. This is an earnings freeze on a scale unprecedented … Continued

More ambition, less risk – building on the success of auto-enrolment

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We often find it harder to celebrate policy successes than decry policy failures. So you might have missed a policy success which we are marking this week. We are about to have completed the successful initial rolling-out of automatic enrolment into occupational pension saving. Millions of employees will enjoy higher living standards in retirement as … Continued

Public spending
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Tax
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Intergenerational Centre
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Political parties and elections

Britain is set to replace the era of austerity with a new era of tax rises

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The main message that has united both main party conferences over the last fortnight is that the era of austerity is over. For Labour that means more spending on new things – from universal childcare to a mass programme of nationalisation. And for many Conservatives it means a return to what they love doing best … Continued

Introducing….Hamilton – The Industrial Strategy

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Today’s science speech by the Prime Minister shows how much she has in common with the great Alexander Hamilton – though she has not got her own musical yet. Hamilton’s great rival Jefferson had a picture of America as sturdy yeoman farmers enjoying their liberties under a minimalist Government. Hamilton instead saw the Federal Government … Continued

Baby boomers are going to have to pay more tax on their wealth to fund health and social care

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In the past decade a new issue has entered British politics – fairness between the generations. It straddles the conventional political divide. The Prime Minister has spoken of “a growing divide between a more prosperous older generation and a struggling younger generation”. And the leader of the Labour Party has argued that future generations should … Continued

Living standards
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Intergenerational Centre
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Political parties and elections

Millennials need more democratic firepower to fight the growing inequalities between generations

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The demographers used to argue that it was bad news to be born into a big generation – there would be more competition for jobs and for houses.  You would travel through live economy class not club class.  But it has not turned out like that. Instead the big generation, the baby boomers, born from … Continued

Renewing the intergenerational contract could be as important to future generations as a successful EU exit

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We have become very sensitive to inequities of class or race or gender. But we have been ignoring a growing new problem – unfairness between the generations. When I wrote The Pinch six years ago it was the first book looking at Britain from the point of view of the different generations. Since then it … Continued

Living standards
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Intergenerational Centre
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Political parties and elections

Repairing the painful fractures between generations will be a crucial task for the new Prime Minister

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There’s a lot to do, and no-one around to do it. That’s the conclusion from Britain’s first week as a country on a course for Brexit. Most debate, and financial market turmoil, is focused on the huge task of redefining Britain’s role in the world. Whether we like it or not, and whether our leaders … Continued

Life is unfair for young people – but there are ways we can fix that

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After seven years, living standards have finally returned to levels last seen before the financial crisis hit in 2008. But the effects of the downturn and the gains from recovery have not been evenly shared. While the gap between rich and poor has fallen slightly, we’ve witnessed the deepening of a new divergence, between young … Continued

Our country favours the old over the young – and the problem has been getting worse

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Our country favours the old over the young and the problem has been getting worse. George Osborne took some welcome steps yesterday to reverse that trend. The apprenticeship levy, the extension of student loans, and enabling sixth form colleges to escape their unfair VAT burden by converting to academies are important moves in the right … Continued

Robots will enrich not replace us

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The robots are coming to take our jobs. So says Martin Ford in The Rise of the Robots, the FT/McKinsey business book of the year. Andy Haldane, chief economist of the Bank of England, last week warned that 15m jobs in Britain were at risk from automation. Is artificial intelligence about to take over? I am not so sure. Innovation is always … Continued

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