• Generational Conflict 14 May 2018 | View comments

  • 14th May 2018 | By David Jolley

    Several papers this week carried the headline that the Resolution Foundation had identified major conflict between older and younger generations – which might be fixed by sponsoring a gift of £10,000 to every UK citizen on their 25th birthday. https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/apr/02/pay-all-uk-25-year-olds-a-10000-inheritance-says-thinktank

    I had never heard of the Resolution Foundation nor its Intergenerational Commission – But this shows the strength of a quirky/daft recommendation in grabbing people’s attention.

    The resolution Foundation seems to be the brain child of Lord Professor David Willetts, one-time Conservative MP who held high office under David Cameron. He has been preoccupied for at least a decade with the notion that younger generations are now having a less good time than they feel they deserve and less goo than those which were experienced by recent previous generations.

    The observation is probably correct – and the source is certainly the financial crash which has led to austerity economics world wide www.theguardian.com/business/2011/aug/07/global-financial-crisis-key-stages

    The evidence collected by the commission found that within families older people are working generously to help their younger relatives by giving money and providing services to allow them to work, have holidays and buy homes. Far from being a situation of conflict, this sees families combining all their resources to fight a common enemy – This begins with the global problem of finance – and continues with the divisive policies of recent and current UK governments.

    David Willetts and his colleagues in the Resolution Foundation have produced multiple lengthy publications in these recent years, suggesting major and minor changes in the economy. The eye-catching idea of £10,000 to spend at £25 – irrespective of your wealth and career status at the time – is amongst the oddest of their thoughts.

    We have a problem – but it is not the fault of older people – indeed they/we are busy showing the way to cope.

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