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Last Updated: Monday, 16 October 2006, 23:04 GMT 00:04 UK
Harsh future for 'Maggie's kids'
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Improving the stock of affordable housing and giving savings tax breaks are two key ways to alleviate old age poverty, a think-tank has said.

In its report called Maggie's Children, the Policy Exchange looked at how people born between 1980 and 1995 would fare in 50 years' time.

Student debt and high house prices will impair the financial fortunes of this "unlucky" generation, the report said.

It warned that "Maggie's Children" would be poorer than their parents.

"Without greater flexibility, many of them will reach later life with fewer financial and social assets than their predecessors," said Roger Gough, research director of the Policy Exchange.

"What is needed is a major adjustment of policy - in housing, pensions, savings and education - to keep up with economic and demographic change."


The key recommendations in the 144 page report include:

  • Introduction of a more de-centralised planning system aimed at improving the availability of affordable housing

  • The setting up of lifetime savings accounts topped up with government contributions

  • The paying of tax credits to grandparents who provide child care

  • Reform of housing benefit rules so that young adults can work and live at home without losing housing benefits.

"Maggie's Children" not only face the prospect of an impoverished old age, many also will be living alone, according to the report.

The trend towards a greater number of households being made up of single people is set to continue as families continue to breakdown, the report said.

The Policy Exchange report was co-authored by Mr Gough, academics, pensions and ageing experts, and Conservative Member of Parliament David Burrowes.

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