7.Concern for intergenerational fairness is growing as the millennial generation appears to be worse off than the baby boomer generation were at a similar age. The Lords held a debate on intergenerational fairness in Government policy on 26 October 2017. Many Peers identified housing costs, a fall in real average earnings, student debt, and pension schemes as possible sources of intergenerational inequality. Global issues such as climate change were also noted as potential contributors to intergenerational inequality.
8.In the 2012–13 Session, the ad hoc committee on Public Service and Demographic Change published its report, “Ready for Ageing?”, which warned that the Government and society were woefully underprepared for ageing. In the 2015–16 Session, the ad hoc committee on Social Mobility considered the transition from school to work for the majority of young people. More recently, the House of Commons Work and Pensions Committee published a report on Intergenerational Fairness in the 2016–17 Session. The Intergenerational Commission, convened by the Resolution Foundation, has also produced a number of publications on intergenerational fairness.
9.An ad hoc committee could consider the issue in the round—assessing, for example, the collective impact on individuals, families, different generations, society at large and the Government. It could also explore whether Government policy fairly reflects the views and wishes of each generation; what the collective impact is of policies emanating from different Government departments; and whether the Government have the right mechanisms, tools and models to approach policy-making in this area holistically.
10.Some of the issues that an ad hoc committee might consider could include:
11.The inquiry could also be a good opportunity for the House of Lords to increase engagement with young people in an innovative way. Thus, it could experiment with new avenues for engagement, by using communication styles and tools favoured by young people. This might include an increased use of social media, the convening of small focus groups, and committee visits to speak to young people.
12.We recommend the establishment of an ad hoc committee to consider the long-term implications of Government policy on intergenerational fairness and provision, to report by the end of March 2019.
1 HL Deb, 26 October 2017, . See also: House of Lords Library, Intergenerational Fairness and Government Policy, Library Note, , October 2017
2 House of Commons Work and Pensions Committee, (Third Report, Session 2016–17, HC 59)
3 The Intergenerational Commissions’s reports can be viewed online at
4 Resolution Foundation, Votey McVoteface—Understanding the growing turnout gap between the generations (September 2016), p 8: [accessed 19 March 2018]