But taking from older workers could be a big electoral gamble
As was said repeatedly in the lead-up to June 8th the reason that the younger generations appear to get so poorly treated by governments is that by, in the past, not turning out at elections at similar rates to older ones they are seen to be electorally less important.
Well the big move on general election day was a big increase in turnout levels in the 18-24 and 25-34 age segments. At the time the oldies, the 65+ segment saw a drop off on their participation rate and both the these dynamics were the reason why most of the pollsters got it wrong and Mrs. May failed to win her hoped for landslide. The young are much more likely to be pro-LAB while the oldies mostly go for the blue team.
So is it any wonder that Chancellor Hammond should now be hinting ways of shifting things in the direction of younger age-groups who are much less likely than their parents, for instance, of being able to afford their own homes?
The problem for Hammond is that if tax changes create losers then they are much more likely to remember when elections come round than those who gain who’ll just see it as justice being done.
A lot depends on how this is presented and not overstating the benefit. TMay’s big conference move on council houses looked markedly less important when it became clear that maybe only 5,000 extra new homes would be built a year.
The art, of course, is to slip in the balancing move in a form that is not immediately understood by those who’ll be out of pocket.
We saw with the manifesto dementia tax how things can quickly be interpreted to create a problem.