|Baby Boomers, 1945-1960|
“Everybody wants to fix this,” says Bell. “If we want to keep our promises to the different generations – and maintain the welfare state – we have to think radically about how we do this.”
The commission heard research carried out by Professor Karen Rowlingson, from the University of Birmingham, on the scale of support given by families. The middle classes, she says, pay for their grandchildren’s education and children’s housing; the working class take out loans and sell possessions to help with their children’s debts and day-to-day living. It’s self-help that further entrenches deep inequality.
“Wealth differences also risk bleeding into other areas of life where they do not belong,” Bell warns. “Wealth status could determine not only where you can live, but the education you can get, the risks you can take and the job you can do. Wealth is profoundly reshaping Britain.”