In a challenging article in the Financial Times, one of its columnists argued that the old had benefited to a large extent from long-term changes in benefits as well as the effects of monetary policy since the 2008 crisis.
It cited ONS data showing that for pensioner households, state benefits averaged £10,800 a year or almost half their total income, and that whereas 30 years ago pensioner poverty was rife, it was now low-paid working people who were poorest. Since 2008, the only group to have seen their living standards rise has been those aged over 60. High house prices make pensioners appear wealthy, but since relatively few actually downsize, these higher values actually mean very little to them. But at the same time high house prices lock the younger generation out of home ownership – with just over a third of the 24-35 year old age group homeowners today as against two-thirds ten years ago.