Generational inequality: Who should pay for the future?

Generational inequality has become a major policy buzzword since the financial crisis. Today’s challenges for the young are often blamed on the ‘never had it so good’, ‘must have it now’ Sixties generation. More broadly, it is widely charged that today’s youth are paying for the short-termism of governments keen to appease an ageing demographic of core voters. Have the Boomers really squandered their children’s future, or have Generation Y been spoiled with expectations of material comfort which their parents could only have dreamed of?  Does a concern with generational fairness promote a more forward-planning approach or confuse questions about what contemporary policy should look like? Who should pay for the future – and who should decide?

In this timely debate, filmed at the Battle of Ideas, the speakers are: Ruth Alexander, senior broadcast journalist, BBC, regular presenter, Money Box Live; Torsten Bell, director, Resolution Foundation; Jennie Bristow senior lecturer in sociology, Canterbury Christ Church University, author, The Sociology of Generations: New directions and challenges and Baby Boomers and Generational Conflict; Nick Fincham, director of strategy and regulation, Thames Water; Caroline MacFarland, founder and director, Common Vision (CoVi): co-author, A Generation Apart: Were young people left behind by the EU referendum?  The chair is actuary Hilary Salt, founder, First Actuarial.