I’ve been going through the latest British Social Attitudes survey looking at how attitudes to socially positive behaviour such as paying higher taxes and support for liberal policies compares across age groups. And something quite interesting stands out.

The chart below shows support for left or right wing policies. Zero percent on the vertical (y) axis would relate most closely with the beliefs of Jeremy Corbyn whilst the attitudes of someone like Jacob Rees Mogg would be found towards the top of the scale.

Younger people (purple line) have always been to the left of the rest of the population, but the chart shows that Gen Z and younger Millennials have become increasingly progressive in their social attitudes (as have the rest of society).

But then look at the following chart which shows support for increased taxation. This demonstrates a reverse. Younger people (light pink) are more likely to be opposed to high taxation than the 55+ group. Almost 70% of this older group are pro higher levels of taxation. This is equal to a 40 year high!

This, in many ways, mirrors the attitudes we’ve seen amongst younger and older people in terms of giving to charity. As I’ve highlighted in my recent videos on here and LinkedIn, many younger people today are squeezed financially by having to pay back student loans whilst being saddled with expensive living costs. it appears that they simply don’t have the funds available to pay high taxes or give to charity at the levels that young people once did – even if they value the services such taxation could pay for.

This is at the same time as older donors increasingly have the means, ability and desire to put more back into society – through supporting charities – as well as through taxation.

The British Social Attitudes Survey can be found here.