'It's time for the young to pay for us and stop complaining' – The Telegraph

With a generation under fire for the cost of living crisis despite a lifetime of saving, Telegraph readers have had their say…
The cost of living crisis is going to affect every household in some way and, as we face up to a potentially apocalyptic winter, tensions are running high. 
There is a feeling, in some younger camps, that the burden has unfairly landed on the shoulders of the nation’s youth and that government spending is skewed, favouring the older, Conservative-voting sections of society. Lucy Burton, The Telegraph’s employment editor, recently wrote a piece warning of intergenerational resentment as the gap between the generations is laid bare – young families struggling with unpayable bills, cold homes, bare cupboards and rising tax bills, while pensioners sit out the winter in comfort, protected by unconscionable, triple-locked pensions.
Thousands of you took to our comments section to air your thoughts on the matter and, while many readers expressed sympathy with the young, there was also outrage – outrage that having to endure food rationing, ballooning inflation, power shortages and myriad financial crashes in previous decades should be seen as “having it easy”. Not to mention the decades of fiscal responsibility, careful saving and hard graft that have translated into comfortable retirements. Advice was freely and generously given on how the young might face down economic hardship. Here is what you had to say… 
“Most of the current generation of retirees – boomers – worked hard all their lives and put up with hardship in the 1950s, 60s and 70s. We did not have many things taken for granted today like central heating, foreign holidays, mobile phones, car ownership and universal benefits. We didn’t look to blame anyone for life’s shortcomings, and didn’t whinge, like some of the entitled younger generations today.”
@John Dawkins
“Wealthy pensioners have earned their wealth while also paying into the system. Left-wing policies squash ambition and good work ethics. Liz Truss was right – we need to graft more and whinge less, especially the young. And, just for clarity, I am not a wealthy pensioner and I have a son who is currently working his socks off.”
@Stuart Ashen
“The UK state pension is the lowest in Europe. British pensioners have paid via National Insurance over their lifetime to secure their pension rights and have every right to them. As an 82-year-old pensioner, I have lived through 15 years of wartime and post-war food rationing. Years of wage cuts and massive inflation at 20-30 per cent, which have ruined my savings. If the young of today had to suffer the same, then I might feel sorry for them. When we were young, we paid for the pensions of the old and retired. Now it’s for the young to pay for us and shut up complaining.”
@John Bentley
“I worked for 44 years, 22 of which was military service. I contributed to both my military and private pension schemes while bringing up a young family. Now, having retired and living on my pensions, why am I, and others like me, being pilloried, simply because we carefully planned for our retirement? Get a life and leave us in peace.”
@Minesa Double
“The poor, struggling and conned women of pension age far outweigh the rich. Those of us who are reasonably comfortable worked for over 45 years to put together a pot that allows us a comfortable later life. We paid the debt from the Second World War, which was only paid off in 2008. We paid 15 per cent on our mortgages, and there was not the safety net of benefits as there are now. Let any government punish us at their peril. I do have great sympathy for young people, but a society that doesn’t look after its elders is not a civilised society.”
@Kathryn Law
“Pensioners cannot win. If they draw a pension they are spongers. If they go back to work they are depriving the young of jobs. It seems everybody’s preferred solution is for us to drop dead the day after we retire. For the record, I worked all my life, paid my dues and – because I have a small work pension – I still pay tax. My conscience is clear.”
@John Blott
“This year the pension went up by three per cent when wage inflation was twice that. The UK state pension is about £9,000 per year and pretty much the lowest of any OECD country. One could hardly say pensioners are treated generously.”
@Jonathan Forrest
“Some pensioners are wealthy because they worked hard and saved throughout their lives, often reducing their aspirations during their working life to do so. They built businesses, employing others and selling their companies to then retire. It is completely wrong to target successful pensioners who have added value to the UK economy all their working lives.”
@Simon Naylor
“A pension is not a benefit. It is something that payment of NI over 30, 35, 39, 44 years has been made for. One should also remember those who didn’t have enough contributions every year, so pensioners aren’t all going to get £200 a week.”
@Teresa Byrne
“Not all pensioners are wealthy. There are many pensioners who never had the opportunity to contribute to a private pension fund, due to low wages or the fact that legislation to make it compulsory for employers to provide one only came in incrementally during the last 20 years. Even if the state pension reaches the dizzy heights of £200 per week (it’s £185 on average now), that’s only £10,400 per annum. Try living on that if you don’t own your home and have rent to pay.”
@Amanda Malas
“Surely it would be better to encourage young people to get to work and better themselves, rather than taking the easy option to blame the elderly? Pensioners didn’t receive furlough, up to £2,500 a month to sit at home.”
@Northern Girl
“Pensioners worked hard for their money, even Saturdays, making it a six-day week. No latte and Deliveroo and meals out for them… they saved for their retirement! Often no holiday too. As for recycling, we couldn’t afford new things, so second hand was the norm for those furnishing their homes. Stop stirring the non-existent generation divide and start counting your blessings. Getting old and frail is not fun. Being young is.”
@Malcolm McIntyre
“These people moaning about the ageing population are obviously doing so because they and the government were no good at maths in school. Boomers of the 1940s and 50s obviously make for a high elderly population now. Anyone with any sense should have been planning for it. Where do they think the current wealth in this country has come from if it were not from the boomers working in the late 20th century and early 2000s? As far as rich pensioners are concerned, who do the younger generation think is going to benefit from this wealth when the Bank of Mum and Dad eventually shuts down with all that cash and capital left in the estate? Stop moaning and get working as your wealthy pensioners had to.”
@Nigel Collins
“I am 68, retired after 40 years with BT and PO Telecommunications in 2011. I was brought up old-school, if you cannot afford it, then save for it and at the same time, never mind how little, put some away for a rainy day and always pay your utility and council bills first. I never married, so my income tax has never been one to benefit from marriage or child reduction. Modern generations, due to, no matter the cost, wanting everything now, have put themselves dangerously in debt and when an unexpected financial crisis happens, they are left all at sea, unable to pay the essential bills first. I am lucky to not be seriously affected by next year’s enormous fuel bills, but why should my savings be raided and my pension frozen to subsidise the fiscally incompetent?”
@Stephen Garratt
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