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UK Government launches ‘intergenerational fairness’ inquiry

by on February 9, 2016

The UK Government’s ‘Work and Pension’ Committee has launched an inquiry on intergenerational fairness, and is inviting written submissions by 19th February.

Details about the inquiry are rather vague and particularly lacking is any discussion of how generations are being defined and which generations might be of concern.  The scope states:

“The inquiry aims to answer the question of whether the current generation of people in or approaching retirement will over the course of their lifetimes have enjoyed and accumulated much more housing and financial wealth, public service usage, and welfare and pension entitlements than more recent generations can hope to receive”.

The full terms of reference are however more specific about the age groups – or is that generations – that are of interest:

“The group born in the middle of the baby boom (between 1956 and 1961) have been forecast to receive from the welfare state 118 per cent of what they contribute; while recent research shows that younger people are on course to have less wealth at each point in their lives than earlier generations had acquired by the same age”.

This seems to suggest a comparison between a very narrow age range (those born over a five year period from 1956-1961) and a rather broader group simply termed ‘younger people’.  Is it just me that finds this rather frustrating!  Looking at the submissions so far, terms such as ‘our generation’, are unhelpfully being used to highlight particular issues.

As we have pointed out all too frequently on this blog and elsewhere, age is only one factor here and social economic status is at risk of being completely ignored in this sort of review.

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From → Age at work news

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