Conservatives and Labour both plan to punish young Britons while sparing older voters, says new report

'Under both parties, millennials are set to face losses of around £500 a year by the end of the parliament'

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Indy Politics

Both the Conservatives and Labour plan to punish the young if they win the election while continuing to spare older voters, a damning report says today.

Neither of the main parties will deliver “fairness between generations”, the detailed analysis of their tax-and-benefit proposals warns.

Under either Theresa May or Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, so-called “millennials” – people born after the early 1980s – will lose hundreds of pounds more than older voters, or “baby-boomers”.

Labour would take more from younger people (£580) than the Conservatives (£475) by 2022, the Resolution Foundation found.

However, a higher proportion of the extra burden would be imposed on the young by the Tories (48 per cent, compared with 43 per cent), because Labour plans higher tax rises overall.

Meanwhile, Labour would reduce the income of each baby-boomer by £195, while the Conservatives would take only £120.

The conclusions will embarrass the Prime Minister, after the Conservative manifesto pledged “a restored contract between the generations” as one of five big challenges facing the country.

However, it also poses harsh questions for Mr Corbyn, who has repeatedly spoken up for young people and won strong support from that age group.

Laura Gardiner, senior policy analyst at the Resolution Foundation, said Tory plans to curb pensioner incomes were “dwarfed” by looming benefit cuts to hit younger people – retained from the days of George Osborne.

Labour’s manifesto also failed to promise to lift the long benefits freeze imposed by the former Chancellor, although Mr Corbyn has since claimed it would be scrapped.

Ms Gardiner said: “Younger generations remain the big losers when it comes to tax and benefit changes planned.

“Under both parties, millennials are set to face losses of around £500 a year by the end of the parliament, largely as a result of continuing to roll out George Osborne’s benefit cuts.

“Younger voters will be encouraged that their interests have at last made an appearance in the political debate, but disappointed that they still look set to bear the biggest burden in the years ahead.”

The benefits freeze – due to run until 2020 – is widely recognised to be a key driver behind alarming forecasts of rising poverty in the years to come.

The Tories would also press ahead with cuts to be imposed with the switch from tax credits to universal credit, while Labour would only alleviate them.

Three-quarters of the cuts, announced by Mr Osborne in 2015, are still to come, hitting families with young children the hardest.

The Resolution Foundation said they would easily outweigh Ms May’s plans to means test winter fuel payments and loosen the triple lock on up-rating the state pension.

Labour opposes ending the pensions lock and curbing fuel payments and would only head off the universal credit cuts “to a limited extent”.

“It is imperative that whoever takes power next month thinks again about how it supports working families,” Ms Gardiner added.

The think tank said Labour’s plans for income tax hikes, raising £6.4bn overall, would hit people in their 50s the hardest.

For that reason, so-called “Generation X” – those born between 1965 and 1984 – would lose more (£760) than Millennials, under Labour plans. They would lose £390 under the Tories.