Baby boomers are up in arms: they are being criticised for stealing from the younger generation when so many of them are doing all they can to promote a sustainable and fair society.
They want to save the planet and protect welfare spending as much as other age groups. And anyway, they argue, there are plenty of older workers and pensioners who are poor and should not be blamed for bequeathing young people a life of low incomes, sky-high bills, a reduced welfare state and costly debts.
Tomorrow the National Pensioners Convention will head a lobby of parliament. Angry at the government’s decision to downgrade the inflation link for annual pension increases, its message is that many over-65s are struggling to keep warm and will be made poorer, and colder, by the change. Their plea shows up the problem when debating the effect of the boomer generation on the rest of society, which is that this group is far from homogeneous. Rich and poor are both found in the boomer cohort just as much as they are in any other.
Yet the accusation that boomers are protecting themselves at the expense of everyone else still stands, because relatively ordinary boomers will retire as millionaires, paid for by younger workers. Even the poorer over-50s need to recognise they are going to take out of society more than they put in.