Last edited 10 May 2018

A new generational contract

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In May 2018, the influential thinktank the Resolution Foundation published a report following a two-year study into intergenerational fairness.

A new generational contract: the final report of the Intergenerational Commission’ contains the conclusions of the Commission and provides an analysis of the intergenerational challenges between the ‘baby boomers’ and ‘millennials’ and their respective prospects.

David Willetts, the former Conservative universities minister, chaired the panel, which also included Frances O’Grady, the TUC Secretary General, and Carolyn Fairbairn, the CBI Director General. According to Fairbairn, the conclusions were built around the acceptance that the ‘tacit deal in which the young look after the old and the old help the young have a better life than the generation before’ had demonstrably broken down.

As well as suggesting policies such as a £10,000 ‘citizen’s inheritance’ given to every 25-year-old, the Commission proposed several ideas relating to the housing market:

  • Introducing indeterminate tenancies as the sole form of private rental contract. (Scotland have already adopted this policy, but the report recommends England and Wales follow suit.)
  • Limiting rent rises to CPI inflation for set three-year periods through ‘light-touch’ stabilisation measures.
  • A housing tribunal system with powers to adjudicate on challenges to rent rises.
  • Requiring landlords to register with their local authority, thereby bringing England in line with the rest of the UK.
  • Improving support for younger families on low-to-middle incomes by revisiting housing benefit rules.
  • Replacing council tax with a progressive property tax related to up-to-date values.
  • Halving stamp duty to encourage property-owners to move.
  • Providing city and city-region mayors with powers to limit residential property sales in housing hotspots to UK residents.
  • A time-limited cut to capital gains tax for owners of multiple properties selling to first-time buyers.
  • Reforming the viability process to ensure builders deliver on their affordable homes commitments.
  • Allowing local authorities to borrow to build new homes.

You can learn more about the report here.

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