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We must stop pitting the generations against each other

We must stop pitting the generations against each other

Later Life Ambitions is passionate about promoting intergenerational fairness. That is why we are campaigning for policies which benefit every generation, such as building more affordable housing in all regions of the country, removing the barriers that prevent old people from resizing their homes, as well as supporting proposals for improving wages and employment opportunities for those currently in work. A more efficient social care system will also alleviate pressures on health services.

We therefore do not believe in a zero-sum game that sees younger generations pitted against pensioners. We are disappointed by continued news reports that do not focus on how policies can complement different generations, but instead seek to sow conflict. These stories often focus on the perceived ‘cost’ of older generations, highlighting the triple-lock on pensions and universal benefits, but  failing to discuss the valuable contributions that pensioners continue to make to society, through supporting local economies, playing leading roles in voluntary groups and supporting family members with childcare. It is also worth remembering that, in most circumstances, those same pensioners will continue paying tax on their income on an equal basis with the working population.

Furthermore, reports on the triple-lock often fail to mention the reason the device was brought in in the first place – to lift many pensioners out of poverty. Whilst this is working successfully, 1 in 7 pensioners still live in poverty and this is why the triple-lock must remain.

Following the general election, at which  the youth vote has been largely attributed for  the unexpected result, it is important that politicians do  not chase support among younger generations with ill-considered, simplistic and populist policy proposals, which will, ultimately, be of benefit to none of the generations. They must remember that they represent people of all ages equally.

This is why Later Life Ambitions, whilst continuing its  campaign to protect measures that help older people, such as the triple-lock on pensions and universal pensioner benefits, will maintain its  vocal support for intergenerational fairness and a positive national debate about those policies that can benefit young and old people alike.