Fairness across Generations Should Be At Heart of Riots Enquiry

PRESS RELEASE 12 August 2011

Fairness across Generations Should Be At Heart of Riots Enquiry

The newly established Intergenerational Foundation (if.org.uk) calls for intergenerational fairness to be at the centre of any enquiry conducted into the recent riots.

Whilst not condoning the level of violence that has occurred on the streets of Britain, IF believes that accepting that inequality exists between the generations is the key to understanding some of the actions of young people.

By 2020 it is estimated that half of all UK voters will be over 50 years of age. Why would British politicians change their historical habits of short-termist policy-making by offering concessions to less articulate or politically de-motivated younger, poorer members of society?

There is a danger that politicians are protecting the pension rights, property assets and light taxation of these older voters at the expense of younger generations. The abolition of EMA’s, Sure Start schemes, the increase in tuition fees and the decrease in the average entry wage is hitting younger generations hard.

Many young people foresee a future of high taxation, poor pay, lack of affordable housing and see that they are being made to bear the burden of an increasingly ageing society.

Angus Hanton, Co-founder of IF comments, “How can we expect younger generations to comply with society’s rules if we do not value and respect them? Recent research conducted by IF shows that UK young people are the least respected across 29 countries. Rather than resort to draconian prison sentences we should re-examine the intergenerational bargain that is being offered to young people. Inaction by government on these issues may lead to intergenerational conflict.”

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Note to Editors:

The Intergenerational Foundation is newly established to promote the rights of younger and future generations in British policy-making.

Please contact Liz Emerson on liz@if.org.uk or phone 07971 228823 if you would like further information or to arrange an interview.

Copies of “The Poor Perception of Younger People in the UK”, by Jeremy Leach, Senior Researcher, is available upon request.