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

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

Torsten Bell
Living standards
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Political parties and elections

For Labour, it’s all about what you say

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Labour members heading to Brighton this weekend will be a historical anomaly. Because they will be perky. That isn’t the word you’d normally associate with Labour party members on the eve of party conference for the last decade. Depressed, occasionally. Determined, often. But perky? No. And fair enough. Just 15 weeks ago they learnt that … Continued

Matthew Whittaker
Living standards
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Brexit & trade
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Political parties and elections

How important was Brexit in the so-called ‘Brexit election’?

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Anyone who channel-hopped their way through Thursday night’s election coverage will have noticed two things. First, pundits are very good at recycling and refining their reactions as they work their way around the various studios. And second, different channels established different, but seemingly equally plausible, narratives about just what on earth was happening. But one … Continued

Torsten Bell
Living standards
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Intergenerational Centre
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Political parties and elections

The millennials and politics: are they getting into the swing of it?

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There’s a lot to take away from the most unexpected of election nights. Election campaigns and manifestos do matter after all. Conservative and Labour MPs are much better than pandas (at population growth in Scotland). Labour can win non-London seats south of the Watford gap. And voters don’t seem to appreciate leaders calling for yet … Continued

Living standards
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Intergenerational Centre
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Political parties and elections

Votey McVoteface: what’s driving the generational turnout gap, and why it matters

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We are a couple of weeks away from a General Election. Candidates will be shaking hands with as many potential voters as they can, aiming to win their support. But most will prioritise the bingo halls over the student unions because, as is well known, older people are much more likely to make it to … Continued

Living standards
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Intergenerational Centre
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Political parties and elections

Can political parties capture the hearts and minds of young and old alike on polling day?

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All elections have a theme. The last two were fought on living standards and the deficit. This one is about Brexit first and foremost. But there are other issues bubbling under the surface, with fairness between generations featuring prominently in both main parties’ approaches. Theresa May has identified ‘repairing the intergenerational contract that underpins society’ … Continued

Labour market
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Political parties and elections

There’s more on the table at this election than Brexit and security – it’s time we had a proper debate

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This is clearly a very different sort of general election campaign. Conducted in advance of a Brexit process that will profoundly reshape Britain, the focus is on the nature of the deal and the leadership qualities of those vying to negotiate it. The tragic and horrific events in Manchester last week have understandably shifted the … Continued

Demographics
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Welfare
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Intergenerational Centre
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Political parties and elections

The welfare gap between young and old is set to widen, whoever wins the next election

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  We love a good welfare row in elections. Back in 2015, Labour was branded the ‘welfare party’ while the Conservatives were reluctant to divulge the details of the £12 billion cuts package they planned to announced shortly after the election. A cynic might wonder if they were planning to ditch that pledge in the … Continued

Public spending
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Economy and public finances
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Political parties and elections

How do the main parties’ fiscal policies compare?

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The parties’ manifestos cover a lot of ground. But what would their fiscal policies mean for the country? As we set out in an earlier report, boring-sounding rules about the deficit matter hugely for the country’s public debt trajectory, the parties’ delivery of services and tax and benefit policies, and for accommodating coming demographic challenges. … Continued

Social care
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Welfare
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Political parties and elections

The Prime Minister changes direction on social care. But will the cap fit?

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Big election announcements on social care have a habit of coming back to bite you. As we pointed out in our reaction to the Conservative manifesto last week, proposals floated at the end of the last Labour government’s term for an estate tax were proclaimed a ‘death tax’ by the opposition. That tag has hamstrung … Continued

Housing
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Political parties and elections

Home ownership for young families has halved in West Yorkshire, Greater Manchester and Outer London since the 1990s

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The phrase ‘housing crisis’ is rarely off politicians’ lips these days as they increasingly recognise that the cost of a home – to buy and to rent – plays a key role in determining living standards. And quite right too as new Resolution Foundation analysis shows that the crisis is both acute and widely felt. … Continued

Torsten Bell
Housing
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Tax
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Intergenerational Centre
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Political parties and elections

Death taxes, the Conservative manifesto, and the changing politics of intergenerational fairness

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Today we got sight of the Conservative Party’s Theresa May’s manifesto. Just two short years since the last Tory manifesto was presented to the British public, this 2017 offering is a very different beast. The personality shift is all too obvious as Mayism well and truly buries the Cameron/Osborne era of combining rhetorical focus on … Continued

Torsten Bell
Economy and public finances
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Political parties and elections

Labour’s manifesto: let’s focus on the big choices not the small change

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Labour’s manifesto is a big deal, in the simple sense that it has a lot of stuff in it. Nationalising this, nationalising that. Scrapping tuition fees. Borrowing billions for investment. Higher taxes, from corporation tax to financial transactions and on those earning over £80,000. More spending on health, social care, schools, and childcare. Oh, and … Continued

Torsten Bell
Tax
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Political parties and elections

Let’s talk about tax

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Something unusual is happening in this general election campaign. Everyone is talking about raising taxes. Last Sunday Theresa May told Britain she wouldn’t be repeating David Cameron’s mistake of ruling out ever raising any of National Insurance, income tax or VAT. Before that Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell, had hinted that people earning over £70-£80,000 … Continued

Torsten Bell
Cities and regions
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Political parties and elections

Bored of Brexit? Don’t switch off from the election just yet

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The Prime Minister called an election, and told the country it was an election about delivering Brexit. Financial markets and most commentators agreed, focusing their responses on what a surprise vote on 8th June might mean for the shape Brexit takes. But before everyone, leavers and remainers combined, who can’t think of anything worse than … Continued

Pay
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Living Wage
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Economy and public finances
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Political parties and elections

Money can’t buy you love. But can it help you win an election?

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  The centrepiece of John McDonnell’s conference speech in Liverpool today was a pledge to “write a real Living Wage into law”, creating clear (if still lyrically confusing) water between Labour and the government’s national living wage (NLW) policy. The apparent consensus around the benefits of a higher wage floor is a long way removed … 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

Intergenerational Centre
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Political parties and elections

Baby Boomers enjoyed a ballot box advantage over millennials worth four million votes at the last election

Decline in youth turnout dates back to mid-90s and presents a major democratic challenge A combination of their large population and high turnout gave the baby boomers a four million ballot box advantage over millennials at the 2015 General Election, creating a democratic imbalance that should concern all political parties. This is according to new … 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

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