Economics of Age,Equality and Human Rights,Future of Age,Intergenerational

Wednesday, 22nd March 2017; 17:00 (for 17:30) - 19:30, Committee Room G, House of Lords, Palace of Westminster, SW1A 0PW. Chair by Baroness Sally Greengross OBE

Confirmed speakers include: Andrew Harrop, General Secretary, Fabian SocietyDr Stuart Fox, Wiserd, Cardiff University; Professor Phil Cowley, Professor of Politics, Queen Mary University of London;               Dr Jeannie Bristow, Senior Sociology and Social Policy Lecturer, Canterbury Christ Church University;     Dr James Sloam, Reader in Politics and International Relations, Royal Holloway, University of London;     Dr Andrew Mycock, Reader in Politics, University of HuddersfieldAbby Tomlinson, Host of Westminster Abby and Co-Founder of the Milifandom and David Eaton, Policy and Public Affairs OfficerILC-UK.

Recent elections and referenda in the UK have implied a growing intergenerational divide. Older people have voted in larger proportions than younger cohorts leading to vocal concerns from journalists, politicians, and academics that older people are having an increasingly dominant impact on UK politics.

The public debate is getting angrier. The argument goes that older people are benefitting while younger people are finding themselves increasingly politically and socially excluded. Following the EU referendum, The Independent ran a story “How old people have screwed over the younger generation”. Huffington Post ran another under the headline “Young ‘Screwed By Older Generations”.

But how real is this intergenerational divide? During this debate we will explore whether, and how policy can best respond. We will explore:

  • Why are younger people poorly engaged in elections?
  • What does an ageing society mean for the future of participation by younger people?
  • What are the policy solutions: How can we get young people more engaged in elections?

If you are interested in attending this event, please write to

Equality and Human Rights,Longevity,Pensions

Tuesday 3rd May; 16.30pm (for a 17:00 start) - 18.30, followed by drinks reception; Prudential, M&G, 5 Laurence Poutney Hill, EC4R 0HH

ILC-UK and Cass Business School private debate and reception, supported by ILC-UK Partners Programme and hosted by Prudential.

At this event, Professor Les Mayhew launched new research highlighting a growth in inequalities in life expectancy over recent decades. ILC-UK facilitated a debate on how future increases in State Pension Age can be fair, given these growing inequalities with contributions from John Cridland, the Government's Independent Reviewer of State Pension Age.

ILC-UK’s 2014 research (Linking State Pension Age to Longevity), supported by Age UK, found that measures such as healthy life expectancy and disability-free life expectancy vary significantly by region and social class.

This new research by Professor Les Mayhew reveals that the life expectancy gap between the richest and poorest has begun to increase. The research reveals that the richest 5% of men are living an average of 96.2 years, which is 34.2 years longer than the poorest 10% of men. The gap is 1.7 years wider than in 1993.

There are likely to be significant unintended consequences of further increases to State Pension Age in 2028. Increasing State Pension Age up to levels where disability rates are higher, raises concerns about transferring spending from the State Pension to disability or other working age benefits. Increasing the State Pension Age further might also impact on the supply of carers. And will employers be prepared for further increases in the State Pension Age?

Public policy is beginning to recognise the challenges ahead. The DWP Select Committee are currently conducting an Inquiry into “early drawing of the state pension”. Labour have proposed a flexible state pension age so manual workers can retire earlier than other workers. Are there other, potentially more radical solutions to the inequalities challenge?

Please see below for the slides delivered by Professor Les Mayhew at the event.

To download the slides, please click the Pdf link below.

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Communities and Housing,Equality and Human Rights,Health,Pensions,Work and Retirement

ILC-UK are currently planning our activities at the 2014 Political Party Conferences. We hope to run a series of events on topics as diverse as pensions, health, employment, care and communities as part of the main party conference fringe programme.

If you are interested in talking to us about sponsoring a fringe event, please do get in touch with David Sinclair or Jessica Watson ( / / 0207 340 0440).

We are also planning our 2014-2015 events programme. We organise 30+ events a year, from small discussion events, through to larger conferences. Our events always “sell out”, and often, very quickly. If you are interested in talking to us about sponsoring an event, please get in touch with David Sinclair or Lyndsey Mitchell at ILC-UK ( / 0207 340 0440).

The International Longevity Centre-UK is the leading think tank on longevity and demographic change. It is an independent, non-partisan think tank dedicated to addressing issues of longevity, ageing and population change.

Equality and Human Rights,Intergenerational

Private Dinner Debate: Sunday 29th September, Manchester (Outside the secure zone), 18:30 (for 19:00) to 21:00
Supported by University of Manchester and the Ready for Ageing Alliance

David Willetts MP’s 2010 book, “the Pinch: How the Baby Boomers Took Their Children’s Future – And Why They Should Give it Back” argued that society is “not attaching sufficient value to the claims of future generations”.

It set out that baby boomers have benefited from a set of unique circumstances, benefitting from, amongst other things, improved healthcare, a growth in housing wealth, relatively generous occupational pensions and free higher education.

Since the publication of the book, policy debates about intergenerational fairness have raged. On the one hand, younger people today face student fees, high costs of housing and high unemployment. Benefits have been cut for younger people and those of working age, whilst older people have retained universal benefits such as the free bus pass and TV licence and a winter fuel allowance.

On the other hand, there are huge inequalities within the older population and significant poverty continues. Older people have found low interest rates erode their savings and quantitative easing has contributed to continued falls in annuity rates.

But how real is the conflict being played out in the media and public policy? At a familial level, financial transfers between generations are common and people of all ages are contributing care across and within generations. When ILC-UK surveyed individuals in 2011 about the national insurance exemption for older workers, we found younger people were more likely than old to defend the policy. Similarly, recent polling for Prudential found younger people more likely to defend pensioner benefits than older people themselves.

At this debate, researchers from the University of Manchester will examine the reality of intergenerational competition for resources. ILC-UK will discuss new research, supported by Key Retirement Solutions and Partnership, on the transfer of wealth from grandparents to grandchildren. Other speakers will present their views on how to prevent the emergence of intergenerational tensions.

During the debate we will explore:

  • What is the evidence of intergenerational conflict?
  • Are older people consuming a disproportionate amount of societal resources?
  • Are divisions within generations more important than those between them?
  • Should there be greater focus on wealth and health disparities within rather than between generations?
  • To what extent is there a transfer of wealth between generations?
  • What can be done to prevent future intergenerational conflict?

If you are interested in attending this dinner debate, please contact Lyndsey Mitchell on Please note that we have limited availability remaining for this dinner.

Equality and Human Rights

Attlee Room, House of Lords, 15:30, 19 October 2011

Age UK and the International Longevity Centre – UK held the parliamentary launch reception “Celebrating Intergenerational Diversity in the LGBT Community” on the 19 October 2011 from 15.30-17.00 in the Attlee Room, House of Lords.

Between Autumn 2010 and Spring 2011, three intergenerational projects took place in Camden, Leicester and Stockport that were among the first of their kind. The projects were the first to bring older and younger members of the LGBT communities together and did so through the medium of arts, advocacy and history to share and learn new skills, improve understanding between younger and older people, foster mutual support and celebrate the heritage. The intergenerational projects were delivered in partnership with local Age UK branches (Camden, Leicester and Stockport) and Gendered Intelligence (Camden), Leicester Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Centre, and Stockport Youth Services and also enlisted the help of other institutions including the Central School of Speech and Drama, the University of Leicester and the University of Salford to support their aims.

At the reception an evaluation report of the projects, an evidence review of the potential for intergenerational work among the LGBT community, and a toolkit to inspire future work in the field were launched. Speakers at the event included:

  • Brian Paddick, Liberal Democrat London mayoral candidate
  • David Roper, also known as one part of ‘Four Poofs and a Piano’
  • Antony Smith, Age UK Development Officer for Equalities and Human Rights
  • Dr. Jack Watters, MD, Vice President, External Medical Affairs, Pfizer

The parliamentary reception was 'by invitation only', but requests to attend were considered on a case by case basis.

Equality and Human Rights

11 Tufton Street, Westminster, London, SW1P 3QB, 10:00, 18 November 2008

This event, which was made possible by Pfizer, brought together a number of stakeholders to discuss and explore how providers can strive to meet the housing, health and social care needs of older lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) people.

It is estimated that older LGB people comprise approximately 5-7% of the population of older people in the UK. However, this group of older people is largely 'invisible'. It is generally accepted that similar to older people in general, older LGB people can be faced with issues such as ageism, social isolation, poor health and income poverty. However, previous and continued experiences of stigma and discrimination, because of their sexuality, often make the experience of growing older for LGB people one that is different from that of their heterosexual peers.

This event explored:

  • How does the experience of aging for LGB people differ from those of their heterosexual peers?
  • What are the distinct needs of older LGB people and how can they be met?
  • How can service providers ensure older LGB can access services without fear of discrimination?

Speakers included:

  • Jonathan Finney, Stonewall
  • Dr. Brian Heaphy, University of Manchester
  • David Pennells, CSCI
  • Dr. Steve Pugh, University of Salford
  • Lindsay River, Polari
  • Anthony Smith, Age Concern England
  • Nick Wallbridge, Stonewall Housing
Equality and Human Rights,Global Ageing

BT Centre, 81 Newgate Street, London, EC1, 09:30, 16 October 2007

A one day conference looking at human rights and equality in an ageing world

Coinciding with the launch of the Commission for Equality and Human Rights, this conference debated issues around human rights and ageing in a global context.

The conference asked various questions, such as:

  • Why do we need Human Rights in an Ageing World?
  • Practical Perspectives on using Human Rights for Older People
  • Older People as a Protected Class: Desirable or Feasible in Theory and Practice?
  • New Opportunities and Risks of Age Discrimination and Inequality

Speakers at the conference included:

  • Trevor Philips, Chair, Commission for Equality and Human Rights
  • Dr Robert Butler, Chief Executive, ILC-USA
  • Katie Ghose, Director, British Institute of Human Rights
  • Dr Alex Kalache, Director, World Health Organisation’s Ageing and the Lifecourse Programme
  • Sylvia Beales, Policy Manager, HelpAge International
Equality and Human Rights

House of Lords, 14:00, 15 October 2007

How can human rights contribute to developing policies to tackle health inequalities?

Many regard access to healthcare as a human right. However health status is actually affected by multiple factors, including socio-economic determinants. This symposium reviewed how social and economic factors affect health outcomes, and explored the scope for using human rights in the development of policies to tackle health inequalities in society.

The symposium featured presentations from Professor Sir Michael Marmot of University College London and Dr Alex Kalache, of the World Health Organisation's Ageing and Lifecourse programme, as well as contributions from members of the global network of International Longevity Centres.

The event included an open discussion with invited Parliamentarians, senior civil servants and academics with an interest in health, development and human rights.

Equality and Human Rights

Grand Committee Room, House of Commons, 18:00, 15 October 2007

In partnership with Help the Aged, this event explored the practical measures that politicians can take to promote the human rights of older people.

In partnership with Help the Aged, the ILC Alliance held an event in Parliament to explore what practical steps politicians can take to promote the human rights of older people. It comes at a pivotal moment in the evolution of human rights policy in the UK, with the Commission on Equality and Human Rights starting its official work in October 2007.

Frances Butler, an independent policy expert in this field, addressed the meeting, followed by the three main party spokespeople on human rights giving their views on what should be the role of Government, and the new Commission for Equality and Human Rights, in making human rights a reality for older people.

Joining an audience of MPs, Peers and key stakeholders were participants from the ILC Global Alliance. The meeting, generously hosted by Dr Evan Harris MP, of the Joint Committee on Human Rights, was held in the Grand Committee Room, House of Commons, at 6pm on Monday 15 October.