...But the true position of young people is thrown into stark relief when compared to their parents . . . who enjoyed many advantages of which the younger generation can now only dream, including a generous welfare state, free universal higher education, secure pensions and a substantial rise in housing equity which has augmented their lifetime savings.”
Others have called the tripling of housing costs in under a decade the largest generational asset transfer – from young and poor to old and rich – in UK history, and it is almost certainly the key factor contributing to both the nation’s plummeting birth-rate and its record £1.2 trillion in personal debt, a figure that puts even the most voracious American consumer to shame. Debt, whether measured in a natal deficit or angry letters from the bank, is a sure sign that the good times are up, because the only way the pretense of affluence can be continued is if tomorrow’s hardship is used to pay for today’s brief consumer whims.