Solutions for ageing - the youngster's view
A recent study by Young People Now has found that 70 per cent of media reports about Britain's youth are negative. You're more likely to get a friendly handshake in the offices of the Daily Express if you're an asylum seeker than a 15-year-old, it seems. It won't make me popular round here to suggest it, but it is the young, not the old, who are becoming the poverty-stricken victims of British society.
The older generation have been systematically pulling the soft woolly carpet along with them, leaving only bare naily wood beneath. Firstly, the young are forced to go to university now as part of the government's educational production line. Once there, they borrow far less than they would be given on the dole for the chance to become a tax-paying member of society able to keep our ever-growing pensioner population in tea and biscuits. When processed into graduates, we find that it is not even that easy to do our bit: a degree now being as common as a penn'orth of sweets were in t'old days, we count ourselves lucky to get a job answering phones if it keeps the debt collectors from the door.
And what exactly do we earn money for? To pay vast amounts of money to buy-to-let baby boomers who have, with the enormous fantasy proceeds from their homes, decided to go into the business of fleecing youngsters. The average house price is now so far above the average income that it is cheaper to move to Bulgaria and commute by plane than to own a one bedroom hovel in London.
There is a solution. Old people: you've got all the houses. Why not share them with the young? They could pay you a fair amount of money and they could help with the things that young people do best, like weeding and rescuing cats from gutters. Your pension crisis would be alleviated, our housing crisis would be solved. Then house prices would crash and everybody would be happy.
Originally published in The Friend