The OAP, also known as the old age pensioner, seen hobbling along to the post office to pick up her pension (most were female although this had no bearing on the rate of decline) are extinct. But unlike the dodo, the UK Government has kept DNA samples aside to re-introduce the OAP into the wild again in about 30 years time.
During the next three decades, the OAP will be superseded by its very distant cousin, the baby boomer. Hardly unrecognisable from the OAP, bar the silver hair and wrinkles, the baby boomer does not hobble but stands upright – and skis. The baby boomer is so known because they were born during the post-war years high birth rate of the late 1940s to early 1950s.
The OAP was known to rely on scavenging for their state pension at the local post office whereas the baby boomer has multiple pension pots delivering a very healthy annuity, wired electronically to their Premier Bank Account.
The baby boomer unlike the OAP is also the first over 60 year old species in history to be wealthier than their grown children. Previously the OAP was poorer than their children but richer than their parents.
This economic phenomenon, theorised for sometime was today proven by the UK Office for National Statistics, which showed retired baby boomers living on pensions are wealthier than their children living on a working wage.
After adjusting for inflation, the income of retired households was on average £7,100 in 1977, while working households found themselves taking him £12,600 after taxes.
By 2011/12, the income of retired households had grown 2.7 times to £19,300, while the income of non-retired households doubled from its 1977 level to £25,700.
Economists are not surprised by this. Tony Blair’s Government saw the baby boomers enter power and they made darn sure they were set up for life (at the expense of their children). Sociologists link this selfishness to the liberalisation of the 1960s. Baby boomers gave themselves winter fuel allowances to pay for their bar bill in Marbella, they gave themselves free bus passes so they didn’t have to be burdened by the cost of fuel, instead ensuring their working children reliant on their cars to commute to work picked up the tab – twice (fuel duty increases and paying for mum and dad’s bus pass). Then they stored up a nice little earner for when they will be a third (if that) of the way through their retirement: free TV licences! Yippee. Paid for by their children of course.
The baby boomer felt they wanted more of the country’s wealth though. So because of Government policies in the Labour years between 1997 – 2010, house building was drastically reduced so the price of baby boomer property would rocket. It became a fun pastime for the baby boomer to sit watching the numbers whizz round on the value of their home. Meanwhile, their children couldn’t afford to buy as a result of a major lack of supply.
Then the baby boomers in Government thought wouldn’t it be nice if we could get a cheap gardener and cleaner from Eastern Europe to look after our five bedroom house in suburbia. So the baby boomers opened the doors to mass immigration from the EU. The baby boomers got their cheap domestic labour, whereas their children couldn’t get a job.
It is believed the baby boomer will live for around another forty years. Then like the dinosaurs they will be wiped out and the OAP will, thanks to the Government policies when the baby boomers were in power, re-establish itself back in the wild. A new record will then be broken when the OAP 2.0 will be poorer than their parents were thirty years before.
Wake up Generation X!