Torsten Bell
Demographics
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Political parties and elections

The middle aged, not the middle class, are the new swing voters

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An election is coming. You may have noticed. The early phase of any campaign is the contest about what the election will actually be about – where the battle lines will lie. You want it to be all about Brexit if you’re gunning for the Conservatives or Liberal Democrats, and everything but Brexit if you’re … Continued

What is generational fairness?

David Runciman speech on intergenerational fairness and political representation

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This article summarises a speech by Professor David Runciman at a recent Intergenerational Centre event exploring what the concept of generational fairness means for our politics, economics and society. You can watch the full event on our event page. This article does not necessarily reflect the views of the Resolution Foundation. In the coming months … Continued

Young people are no longer footloose and fancy free – and rent rises are to blame

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Millennials, eh? They never stand still. Always on the move, with their ‘portfolio careers’, side hustles in the gig economy, and no loyalty to the companies they work for. With an attitude like that, it’s no wonder they struggle to find decent work and pay. There’s only one problem with this common trope though. It’s … 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

Coming of age during a downturn can cause scarring – and it takes up to a decade to heal

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Recessions are bad for people’s standard of living. And they’re particularly bad for young people. That’s the painful lesson we learnt after the 1980s recession where, for most of that decade, at least one in seven people under 30 were unemployed. We know a lot about the unemployment scarring of the 1980s – from the … 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

Demographics
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Intergenerational Centre
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Political parties and elections

My Generation, Baby: The Politics of Age in Brexit Britain

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Generational politics is nothing new, but the extent of the profound generational cleavage that has emerged in British electoral politics is novel. The Brexit vote and the 2017 general election put generational politics centre‐stage, eclipsing in some ways the traditionally dominant role of class. Our two main parties now rely on age‐based coalitions of support—on … Continued

Nye Cominetti

All aboard the Millennial Express – longer commutes for less pay

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The ONS serve to uplift and depress analysts like me in equal measure. And today they served up the latter, with new figures showing that the number of people commuting for more than an hour to get into work has increased by almost a third (31 per cent) since 2011. Longer commutes are good news … 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

Torsten Bell
Demographics
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Intergenerational Centre
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Political parties and elections

Demography is the new class war

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The real question about this year’s Labour Party conference is what on earth everyone will talk about for four days. The supposed Brexit barney will be a damp squib and leadership rows have disappeared. So here’s a suggestion to fill the awkward silences: it’s time Labour talked about the arrival of generational divides in our … Continued

Widening inequalities between generations are impeding social mobility

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Intergenerational progress – the principle that each generation will do better than the one before – has come to a halt. Millennials in their late 20s are earning less than generation X did 15 years earlier, own half as many homes as the baby boomers, and shoulder greater levels of risk than previous generations. It’s … Continued

The millennial minefield: Young adults’ views on generational justice in the 21st century

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In March 2018 the Intergenerational Commission, in partnership with My Life My Say, convened a group of 30 young people to discuss issues related to intergenerational fairness. The Commission wanted to understand where their greatest concerns lay, and to test some of its policy ideas against the scrutiny of today’s young generation as part of … Continued

Matthew Whittaker

Now’s not the time for auto-pilot

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Straightforward policy successes are a rare achievement in government and need celebrating when they arrive, lest we forget that policy matters. The recent sizeable gains the UK has made on private pension saving as a result of the introduction of auto-enrolment are therefore a clear cause for cheer. But challenges remain, starting with the increase … Continued

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