Looking back at IF’s 2021

As the year draws to a close, IF Co-Founder Liz Emerson explains what research, campaigning the Intergenerational Foundation has been working on throughout 2021, and what to look out for in 2022.

What has IF done in 2021?

IF has responded to 19 government consultation enquiries calling for a more equitable settlement for younger generations after suffering a decade of decline before COVID-19 hit, as featured in our 10-year anniversary report, kindly sponsored by Curtis Banks.

IF’s previous Tax After COVID-19 consultation response demonstrated that the government could raise over £50 billion each year with intergenerationally equitable taxation. For example, £15 billion per annum could be raised by charging national insurance on commercial and private sector rental income. 

Another £8.4 billion could be raised annually by charging national insurance on dividend income, and a further £28 billion could be raised annually by removing capital gains exemptions or allowances on the disposal of only or main residences.

In 2021, IF’s work has been cited in the National Minimum Wage Low Pay Commission Report 2021, the House of Lords Thinkhouse library, as well as the House of Lords Intergenerational Fairness and Provision Committee Report.

Our research

We have continued to publish research reports on a wide range of subjects including: the consumption of housing space by age; government spending by age; 10 years of decline for young people; as well as the discount rate. 

Communications and campaigns

We have hosted two blog weeks, one featuring our international partners and guest writers from around the world, and another focused squarely on COP26, the climate crisis, and preserving a healthy planet for future generations. We are grateful to everyone who contributed to those, and to all our guest writers throughout the year.

Our What IF? Podcast has recently launched its second series and continues to attract new listeners as do our social media channels.

Student finance changes on the way?

 In spite of our calls for a fairer student finance settlement, we fear that the government is intent on lowering the threshold of repayment thereby pulling younger workers into repayment sooner, as well as extending the loan term from 30 to 40 years.

Previous students may think that they are “home and dry” having graduated but in the small print of their student loan agreements, the government has the right to change the loan terms and/or interest rates “retrospectively”.

Looking forward to 2022

IF wants to see a COVID-19 catch-up year for young people. That means: lower not higher national insurance or income tax with a move to the taxation of unearned income over earned income; more investment in lost education and training; further investment in mental health services; a fairer student finance system; intergenerationally fairer wages for low earners; lower housing costs; and greater investment in the transition to a green economy. 

COVID-19 has shown that the purse strings can be loosened when the government wants, and the pandemic is not the only crisis we face. The looming climate crisis requires major investment that will change how we travel and how we generate power, and there must be no delay in providing that investment.

But we also face a crisis of underinvestment in young people, whose pockets and whose prospects have been squeezed throughout the last decade. In 2022, let’s do better for younger people.

Happy New Year

Happy New Year, one and all, and welcome to 2022. Thank you so much for all your support during 2021. Please stay in touch by following us on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn, and get in touch with any requests or ideas by emailing [email protected]

Please join us in calling 2022 the year for justice for young people and proper investment in younger and future generations.

Help us to be able to do more 

Now that you’ve reached the end of the article, we want to thank you for being interested in IF’s work standing up for younger and future generations. We’re really proud of what we’ve achieved so far. And with your help we can do much more, so please consider helping to make IF more sustainable. You can do so by following this link: Donate

Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash