The UK government could be facing a "baby boom backlash" if it doesn't deal with the post-war genera...
The UK government could be facing a "baby boom backlash" if it doesn't deal with the post-war generation's demands as they reach retirement, the independent think tank Demos says.
According to its latest report – The New Old: Why the baby boomers won't be pensioned off – the baby boomers' view of retirement differs distinctively from their parents' one.
With much higher demands, the baby boom generation - usually defined as those born between 1947 to 1964 - will "punish" the government at the ballot box if it does not fulfill its demands, Demos says.
Julia Huber and Paul Skidmore, joint authors of the report, say that "future governments will have to deal with the baby boomer generation".
One of the issues more than likely to create a stir up among the generation of Vietnam War protesters is pensions. And, the authors warn, the government's attempt to encourage people to work longer in a bid to diminish the £27bn pensions gap will not solve the problem.
"Attempts to encourage people to continue working without offering something in return will lead to a baby boomer backlash."
"At the same time, the welfare state could reach breaking point if the baby boomers use their political muscle to force governments to prioritise their own public services at the expense of society as a whole," they add.
Adding to the problem is the sheer size of the baby boom group, which currently makes up about 29% of the UK population, with some 17 million baby boomers marching towards retirement.
Gordon Lishman, director general of charity Age Concern, which co-published the report, says that the boomers are "unlikely to put up and shut up".
"If the political parties fail to listen to the boomers on priority issues like the provision of public services and retirement then they could be punished at the ballot box."
Somewhat contradicting this view are figures from Mori - published in the Demos report itself - showing that just 62% of baby boomers actually bothered to vote in the 2001 general election, compared to 70% of their parents' generation.
Judging by this result, the post-war baby generation seems less interested in politics than the slightly older generation, giving governments of all colours some room to breath in developing new pensions policies.
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