The Resolution Foundation set up the Intergenerational Commission to explore the questions of intergenerational fairness. Their final report was published on the 8 May 2018, and runs to 229 pages. Here are their “ten key policy recommendations”:
- Increase public funding for social care by £2.3bn from reformed taxation of property (see 8). There should also be an increase in property-based contributions towards care costs, with a ceiling that the maximum individual contribution is a quarter of personal wealth.
- Introduce a £2.3billion ‘NHS levy’ via National Insurance on the earnings of those above State Pension age and on occupational pension income. The latter would be set at a 6% rate, with an uplifted pensioner primary threshold matching the personal allowance.
- Boost employment security via the right to a regular contract for those doing regular hours on a zero-hours contract; extended statutory rights for the self-employed; and minimum notice periods for shifts.
- Introduce a £1bn ‘Better Jobs Deal’ that offers practical support and funding for younger workers most affected by the financial crisis to take up opportunities to move jobs or train to progress; and £1.5bn to tackle persistent underfunding of technical education routes. The expenditure would be funded by cancelling half of the 2% corporation tax cut due in 2020.
- Make indeterminate tenancies the sole form of private rental contract, with ‘light-touch’ rent stabilisation limiting rent increases to inflation for three-year periods and disputes settled by a new housing tribunal.
- Replace council tax with a progressive property tax (at up to 1.7% of value above £600,000) with surcharges on second and empty properties; halve stamp duty rates to encourage moving; and offer a time-limited capital gains tax cut to encourage owners of additional properties to sell to first-time buyers.
- Piloting community land auctions so local authorities can bring more land forward for house building, underpinned by stronger compulsory purchase powers; and introduce a £1.7bn building precept allowing local authorities to raise funds for house building in their area.
- Require firms contracting for self-employed labour to make pension contributions; lower the earnings threshold for auto-enrolment to £6,000 a year; and provide greater incentives to save among low and middle-earners by flattening the rate of pensions tax relief, capping the pension lump sum at £40,000 and exempting employee pension contributions from National Insurance.
- Develop a legislative framework for new ‘collective defined contribution’ pensions that better share risk; and reform pension freedoms to include the default option of a government-backed guaranteed income product purchased at the age of 80.
- Abolish inheritance tax and replace it with a lifetime receipts tax that is levied on recipients with fewer exemptions, a lower tax-free allowance and lower tax rates. Use the extra revenues to introduce a £10,000 ‘citizen’s inheritance’ – a restricted-use asset endowment to all young adults to support skills, entrepreneurship, housing and pension saving.
The chances of any political party including this shopping list within their next manifesto are nil. At the last election turnout was 77% for the age range 60-69 and 84% for those aged 70 and over against 69% for the overall population. Nevertheless, there may be (post-election) cherry-picking of some of the proposals as a way to raise additional revenue.