Taxing the old won't solve inter-generational unfairness

  • Young people have it better than their parents in many ways, but not when it comes to housing

  • Taxing older people more will not solve inter-generational unfairness as it will do nothing to resolve the housing crisis

  • Declassifying areas of green belt land and allowing for taller developments are among TPA proposals to build the homes needed

The TaxPayers’ Alliance is today (Friday 11th January) calling on the government to ignore demands for higher taxes on the elderly to address intergenerational unfairness - and instead take urgent action to solve the housing crisis.

Young people today enjoy many advantages that older generations never had at their age. Freer markets have led to an ever-increasing standard of living and big reduction in poverty.

But the young get a bad deal when it comes to housing. In a new report released today, the TPA argues for drastic reform to Britain’s planning system to kick start house building for the next generation of families.

Left leaning think tanks have called for a tax on older people to heal the inter-generational divide, but this would do nothing to resolve the key issue facing young people today - the housing crisis. Instead of taking money away from pensioners and families through punitive tax increases, the government should take urgent action to allow more homes to be built.

Click here to read our full report

Homes are most expensive mainly in the areas where job prospects are strongest. What's more, the evidence shows that the restrictive planning system means a shortage of housing, which of course drives up costs.

We should grant property developers substantially more freedom to build homes where they’re needed. That would result in a fall in costs over time and more of us - particularly younger people who are more mobile - will be able afford to take up better jobs while reducing the cost of living for everyone else.


John O’Connell, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance said:

“Living standards are improving on most measures, but young Brits are struggling with the cost of housing and find it more difficult than their parents to rent or buy a home. That's not good enough, and given that politicians caused this crisis by implementing such stringent planning laws, it's staggering that anyone thinks that even more intervention through taxpayer-funded subsidies or tax hikes are the right answers. It's time to get real and free up some areas of green belt and allow for taller buildings, so that young people in Britain can look forward to building a bright future for themselves and their families."

TPA spokesmen are available for live and pre-recorded broadcast interviews via 07795 084 113 (no texts)

Media contact:

Chloe Westley
Campaign Manager, TaxPayers' Alliance
[email protected]
24-hour media hotline: 07795 084 113 (no texts)

  1. Founded in 2004 by Matthew Elliott and Andrew Allum, and now with 80,000 supporters, the TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA) fights to reform taxes, reduce spending and protect taxpayers. Find out more about the TaxPayers' Alliance at

  2. TaxPayers' Alliance's advisory council.

  3. The TaxPayers' Alliance submitted evidence to the House of Lords Select Committee on Intergenerational Fairness and Provision on the 27th November 2018. Click here to read a supplementary briefing. 
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