The Resolution Foundation has proposed a series of new policy initiatives that could help young people get on the housing ladder and improve NHS services for all.
The proposals are designed to improve social cohesion in the UK, where there is an increasing divide between young and old – an issue exacerbated by the Brexit vote, where the older generation voted to take away EU rights and benefits from the young, who are already struggling with a decade of stagnated wages and a property market that is increasingly out-of-reach.
The report from the think tank’s Intergenerational Commission is supported by both business and trade unions, both of which can see the possibility for major political upheaval if something is not done to address the increasing generational wealth imbalance. After a decade of austerity following the financial collapse, young people still face lower wages than the previous generation, along with £30,000+ student debts, the uncertainty of zero-hour contracts, an increased possibility of never owning a house, and government policies like the triple-locked pension that drive further shifts in wealth from those in work to retirees.
The proposal includes plans for a Citizen’s Inheritance, funded by a tougher version of inheritance tax, that would give 25-year-olds a £10,000 grant to spend on a deposit for a house, education, or entrepreneurship.
It also has policies for a £2.3bn NHS levy to be funded by new national insurance contributions from pensioners, who are currently the group that uses the NHS most but do not pay for it at all. A host of other reforms included in the proposal include plan to make first-time house-buying more affordable for those without the help of the so-called “bank of mum and dad” with cuts to stamp duty, and replacing out-dated council tax with a more progressive property tax, and stronger rights for renters.
David Willets, Executive Chair of the Resolution Foundation, said: “Many people no longer believe that Britain is delivering on its obligations to young and old.
“But our Commission shows how Britain can rise to this challenge.
“From an NHS levy to put healthcare on a firmer financial footing, to building more homes and a Citizen’s Inheritance to boost young people’s career and housing aspirations, our report shows how a new contract between generations can build a better and more unified Britain.”