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Last Updated: Monday, 22 August 2005, 15:58 GMT 16:58 UK
Ipod generation 'are worse off'
The "Ipod" generation: plenty of gadgets but no financial security
Young people are in a worse economic position than their parents were at their age, according to a new study.

The report by think-tank Reform calls under-35s the "Ipod" generation - because they are "Insecure, Pressured, Overtaxed and Debt-ridden".

High property prices, competitive jobs market and education costs are piling pressure on the young, the survey says.

They are paying for the welfare state "without being able to expect many of the benefits", Reform says.

"Young people are not getting a fair deal," said Nick Bosanquet of Reform.

They must now pay for their own higher education and save for their retirement, while supporting an aging population, the think-tank says.

Andrew Haldenby, director of Reform, blames policy-makers who "ignore the interests of young people in favour of appealing to pensioners and those more likely to vote".

The Reform survey suggests a programme of tax reductions as one way to help redress the balance.

"Young people must be freed from the burden of high taxation if they are to make their vital contribution to economic growth and enterprise", Mr Haldenby says.

Tougher competition

The survey comes as the average debt of higher education graduates is expected to rise to 20,000 for undergraduates starting this year.

But the average male arts graduate will gain less than 25,000 on his lifetime's income, as compared to an equivalent male without a degree, the survey shows.

Graduates also face tougher competition for jobs, and struggle to get on the housing ladder.

The proportion of 20-24 year-olds living with their parents has risen from 41 per cent in 1991 to 49 per cent in 2004, the survey says.

Government policies are "mortgaging the future of a generation," warns Mr Bosanquet.

"This is a really big issue for the country," he said.

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