UK Moving Backwards: Half a Century of Social Progress Reversed in Last Decade(4 Posts)
According to research by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, people born in the 1960’s and 70’s will retire poorer than their parents, having earned a lower wage, with no savings, in a home they don’t own, and with a smaller private pension. After unpicking the fabric of the Post War Welfare State that brought unbroken social progress for decades, the UK is reaping the whirlwind.
The findings from the Institute for Fiscal Studies conclude that those born in the 60’s and 70’s ‘are facing a triple whammy of meagre pay rises, inadequate pensions and soaring property prices’. All of which means that they will have less financial security in their old age, than their parents or those born in the decades before them.
There is a very simple reason for that.
Rather than extending the benefits, rights and freedoms won by UK citizens in the post WWII period, subsequent generations sold them away instead.
This IFS report merely confirms what has been staring my generation (I was born in ’77) in the face for too long now. Consider the following, my generation endured a poorer education than those that went before us, our university qualifications were diluted by mass university participation, the less well educated of my peers faced greater competition for lowly jobs due to the triple whammy of increased immigration, globalisation and automation. In the meantime, we watched as house prices shot out of reach for the average Joe, saw our savings dwindle due to low interest rates and high inflation and faced higher taxes and higher utility bills. My generation will be paying the state pensions to women who were allowed to retire at 60 despite not being able to retire ourselves until we’re into our 70′s. As for any private provision of pensions, we’ve lost Final Salary schemes and been given Stakeholders in their place – these pension funds are, naturally, taxed where they haven’t been in the past. We’ve lost the ‘Jobs For Life’ culture that our Fathers and Grandfathers took for granted and have more petty rules and regulations to abide by than any generation in history.
The government isn’t to blame for all of our woes and disadvantages but they don’t bloody help. It’s hardly suprising that the youth are turning more than ever to Libertarianism, Minarchism and Conservatism rather than the traditional follies of youth such as Marxism or other left wing pastimes.
I hate to disappoint you, JudgeyPants, but the youth anti-Capitalist and anti-Globalisation (anti-Corporate Globalisation, to be precise) movements which came to fame at the 1999 WTO protest in Seattle is primarily left-wing Anarchistic, Socialist, or Marxist.
Almost no one these days fighting for social justice is a Capitalist libertarian. They're not so blindly as to not see the connection between corporate power and corruption, wealth inequality, poverty, war, etc.
The one thing missing from the assessment is the great wedge of inherited wealth coming the way of the 70's and 80's kids when their baby boomer parents die. Not universally, of course, what with care-home fees and increased life expectancy but there will be quite a lot of today's struggling 30 and 40 year-olds suddenly finding themselves on the receiving end of their parents' accumulated wealth. It's happening to a lot of people around me at the moment. Suddenly they're paying off mortgages and finding their own old age doesn't look so bleak.
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