Are the Baby boomers going to get off scot-free as workers earning less than £50,000 pay for their care with a National Insurance hike?
The baby boomers voted Brexit, they voted Trump, they drag their heels over climate change, and now they want their own way, again. Are the 'money for nothing generation' going to score again, at the expensive their grandchildren?
They worked during a period of rapid increases in wages; they saved during the great stock market bull run. For many of them, most of their wealth came from leverage — owning a house meant wealth accumulation at an extraordinary scale as they dined at the café of free lunch — tax-free.
Now, as they age and the penny drops, they might need care, they find a brilliant way to pay for it — they plan to get workers earning less than £50,000 a year to fund it.
The UK government, which has broken a manifesto pledge not to increase national insurance says the beneficiaries of the tax hike will be the young too — those of generation X, Millennials and Generation Z who also need care; with their supporters nodding in agreement. The blame for this 'easy way out' approach needs to be shared with the 'numerous older' generation for tacitly supporting the policy.
In the past, it was the young who dictated fashion, cultural change and via the weight of numbers, the results at the ballot box. This is no longer the case — the baby boomers make up 21.3 per cent of the UK population. The youngest of this generation is now 56. Never before has the age group 56 to 75 represented such a high proportion of the population, and never before has this age group held so much influence.
Economists have been pointing out for years that the tax system is skewed in their favour. See, for example, “The Pinch: How the baby boomers took their children’s future – and why they should give it back,” by David Willets.
That book was published in 2015, and Willets, the Paymaster General when John Major was Prime Minister, and then Minister of State for Universities and Science under David Cameron, nailed it. But his message is lost; instead, the baby boomers take more.
To rub salt into the wound, they call the Millennials names — snowflakes and the ‘me generation.’
Elders looking down on youngsters is not new. From time immemorial senior citizens have scratched their heads and moaned about the ‘youth of today.’ They would mutter: “I wonder what the world is coming to.”
Today’s elders say the millennials lack concentration, thanks to social media. But, they forget how their parents said they lacked concentration thanks to TV. No doubt, and in turn, their parents thought radio sapped concentration spans.
Pick up a book by Dickens and read the long meandering sentences — now the Victorians had attention spans.
Except maybe their elders thought reading weakened concentration because it afforded the luxury of being able to go back and reread a sentence.
It has always been like that, but by force of numbers, the younger generations held sway.
Max Planck said that 'progress occurs one funeral at a time' — if he is right, we have a long wait for social change.
And since the author is a baby boomer, he probably won’t see it. But then, I don’t care; I am a baby boomer, and you snowflakes; you don’t know how lucky you are; now we had it tough.
Liz's poisoned chalice and the hint of hope
Sep 06, 2022
Cut profits to pay workers: does it make sense?
Jul 05, 2022
Is rationing the solution to the cost of living crisis?
May 30, 2022