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‘Baby-boomers vs. young generation’ not the problem with financial inequality, says study

London, June 24:-- Fears of inter-generational tension between young and old are unfounded,  according to a new study.


Researchers at the University of Birmingham say that social, economic and demographic factors are generally pushing UK families together, rather than driving them apart along generational lines.


Their key findings were:


• Instead of falling victim to inter-generational tensions, families are determined to support their own members financially.


• Some families are much better placed than others to provide help – reinforcing the gap between rich and poor.


• Most families still think the state has a fundamental role to play in offering support.


• There is little appetite for plans to fund social care by targeting pensioners.


• An alternative means of reducing financial inequality over the longer term could be to reform wealth taxation.


The study, led by the Centre on Household Assets and Savings Management at Birmingham, draws on the experience of 2,000 people and explores intergenerational relationships within families. It examines the giving and receiving of lifetime gifts – defined as gifts worth £500 or more.


The researchers found that 22% of British adults, that is, more than one in five, had received one or more such large gifts from family members.


Crucially, such gifts were far more common, and much larger, within middle-class families, whose members could usually find the necessary funds from their existing income or savings.


By contrast, older members of working-class families were more likely to support younger generations by selling possessions or taking out loans themselves.


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