Norfolk charities react to proposals for £10,000 payment for 25-year-olds to address generational gap
Proposals to give a £10,000 starter payment to 25-year-olds in the UK have been cautiously welcomed in Norfolk – but caveats over its implementation have been suggested.
The Resolution Foundation’s Intergenerational Commission, which has been studying equality between the generations, says the two major tasks to maintain fairness are to fund care for the elderly and support younger generations “facing a harder time building up assets”.
One way to address these is to tackle “age-related inequalities in the tax system that favour older workers”, its A New Generational Contract report says.
The commission has recommended implementing a £10,000 “citizen’s inheritance” for 25-year-olds to help them get on the property ladder, pay for education, set up a business and invest in pensions, which will be funded by radical reforms to how inheritance is taxed.
Rebecca White, director at social enterprise Your Own Place, which helps support young people into independent living, said the report’s proposals presented “exciting” opportunities and could enable “equality of opportunity” in entrepreneurship and home ownership.
“The current system is a bit broken so why would we not want to try an innovative approach?” she said. “I think this is a fantastic hand-up – imagine what it could unleash in terms of someone’s creative power.”
She added that, if the payments came to fruition, there would need to be infrastructure to support it – whether provided by the state or “philanthropic” businesses.
The report also suggests that working pensioners start paying National Insurance contributions, which it estimates could bring in £4bn annually, to help fill a funding shortfall in health and social care.
But Susan Ringwood, chief executive of Age UK Norwich, said many elderly people were already making a “substantial financial contribution” towards the futures of their children and grandchildren, from deposits for first homes to general household expenses – with some doing so “at the expense of their own needs”.
“Older people do support the notion that young people need the best start in life,” she said.
“Most of those who have money are doing what they can to distribute it, but there are people who are not in a position to do that so there will be some young people who do not have the ability to benefit from that financial support. Therefore there is some inequity in the system that could be addressed.”
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