Our comment piece of the week - also included in our newsletter:
It’s been a week of continuing tensions between the generations, with the Government bringing forward the year when the pension age will be raised and the Opposition stepping away from its commitment to cancel student debt. So once again the words of David Willetts in ‘The Pinch’ are looking distinctly prophetic.
Simon Lambert and Georgie Frost discuss the pros and cons of the pension age in this week’s ‘This Is Money’ programme. We are living longer, we need to work longer: but of course it is not as simple as that. It affects different people in different ways, in different sectors of industry: and the rate at which we are living longer is slowing down. Is that because there is a genetic brick wall which we are starting to hit?
Then of course there's the issue of wealth polarisation: for 20%-30% of the population who have savings and investments it is easier to cope with more post-working years, but for those ‘just about managing’ it is much more of a strain.
The polarisation of wealth is particularly significant for young people at the start of their working lives. Rather than have them leaving university with a millstone of debt around their necks, we should be equipping them not only with life skills but also some resources with which to begin adult life. But financing university education should not be a universal benefit: those families which can pay for it, should do so - the State should step in for those who can't.
More importantly all young people, and particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds with no hope of university, should be offered a program of incentivised learning to gain both life skills and resources, fuelled from inheritance tax receipts. It’s this program that The Share Foundation is running for young people in care – but fuelled by voluntary giving: click on the advert above to hear more about it.
Transition is never easy, whether in order to cope with living longer or to rebalance intergenerational equity, but we have to do it in the interests of a society which is more at ease with itself across its generations.
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When you just need some relaxing background music for reading, writing or entertaining, Share Music is there with an almost unbroken flow of instrumental folk music. It's a great complement to Share Radio, and if you buy an internet radio from us you'll find both Share Radio and Share Music preset and all ready to go.
Share Music has a great mobile app, Share Music UK, which displays information on tracks played.
A big change has come for Share Radio listeners as from 7pm on Friday 5th May: we've gone 100% online. We're on your mobile and tablet via our apps, on your computer and on internet radio across the world - but no longer on DAB radio in the United Kingdom.
Many of your favourite programmes will continue, but some will change: keep listening and let us know what you think. There's news on the hour, and we are welcoming a wide variety of funded programmes, many hosted by familiar Share Radio presenters.
Share Radio online continues to be accompanied by Share Music, its sister online station: great instrumental background music for reading, drafting or entertaining.