The UK is failing its youth. Here's how and why

There has been a ten per cent drop in young people's prospects as they stand today compared to the opportunities their parents had when they were young, a new report has found.

The 2015 Intergenerational Fairness (IF) index reported a year-on-year decline in prospects for Generation Y across a range of indices including housing, education, health, income, debt and the financial burden of propping up the healthcare and pensions of an ageing population.

Considering that in the latest Budget, housing benefit, tax credits and educational maintenance grants for young people are all on the chopping block, it doesn't look like things are going to improve any time soon.

"Intergenerational equality continues to be the moral issue of our day and, like an adult report card, the Intergenerational Foundation Index makes it clear that the UK is failing its young," Laurence Kotlikoff of the Massachussets Institute of Techonology, who pioneered intergenerational economic research, said of the study.

Wages for 22-29 year olds have also stagnated since 2010, making average house prices in 2014 more than ten times the median annual incomes and the dream of owning a home impossible for many millenials.

George Osborne promised a raise in minimum wage to £9 an hour by 2020, but that will not apply to those under 25.

While unemployment among under -25s has fallen to 15.7 per cent, the number of unemployed young people has still not dropped back to early 2000s levels, and the rate of unemployment is still double that of Germany.

IF is calling on the government to address the issues raised in the Index, starting with speeding up the UK's woeful lack of new housing, and to reduce and restructure how tuition fees are repaid.

Angus Hanton, co-founder of IF and joint author of the index, said in a statement:

Younger generations have been systematically disadvantaged compared to older generations over the past five years, and unless urgent action is taken, those younger generations will become locked further out of housing, unable to access state help, and made to pay ever higher costs for higher education, while bearing the costs of a rapidly ageing population.

Keep reading...Show less
Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)