Researchers today warned of looming “generational conflict” as young people become increasingly resentful of government cuts.
Austerity measures could lead to "generational conflict", it is claimed.
Just days after anti-tuition fees protests caused chaos in central London, it was claimed that the age of austerity may serve to “deepen the fault lines” between generations.
A report published by the National Centre for Social Research found young people were more likely to report age discrimination over the past year.
The study – based on a survey of more than 3,000 adults – said more than half of those aged 18 to 29 had experienced unfair treatment compared with a fifth of those in their 60s.
It also warned of a steady decline in people’s sense of job security since the early 90s which “was not reversed” by last Labour government.
The disclosure comes amid a rise in the retirement age, a near tripling of student tuition fees, cuts to college grants and reductions in welfare spending.
The study – based on an analysis of the British Social Attitudes survey – suggested that the “conflicts of the future may be between today’s young and their parents’ generation”
“As home ownership becomes less accessible to the young, the ending of the retirement age poses challenges for youth employment, and the costs of higher education become punitive, it remains quite plausible that the fault lines of age could become increasingly well defined,” it said.
“The current financial austerity might even serve to deepen these fault lines especially if they are accompanied by a stronger discourse of age inequality and an accompanying set of policy demands from different groups.
“In these circumstances the ‘myth of generational conflict’ might still take on a new reality.”
The study showed that younger people – those aged 18 to 29 – were most likely to have encountered discrimination in the last year.
Some 55 per cent said they experienced unfair treatment or prejudice because of their age, compared with 24 per cent of those in their 30s and 20 per cent of people in their 60s.
Just over two thirds of people in their late teens or 20s said they felt a “lack of respect” about their age, more than twice the proportion among those in aged 60 to 69.
It was also claimed that people of all ages were far more likely to have negative opinions about people in their 20s than those aged 70 or over.
Article from The Telegraph