MP COLUMN: ‘We must make the right decisions or face a troubling future’ warns Toby Perkins

Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins.
Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins.

They are known as our ‘sandwich generation’.

Sandwiched between their responsibilities and worries for both their still alive parents, and their rapidly maturing offspring.

A generation who entered the job market at a time when Britain was an industry-based economy and jobs for life were common place, who have seen huge house price inflation and technological advances but are often left wondering about the future for their relatives.

This will be the first government in history to leave its people worse off at the end of the Parliament than it was at the beginning.

For many it isn’t simply stagnant wage growth and rising prices that has caused continued anxiety but the fact that work is less secure than ever, with a multitude of zero hours and part time contracts offering little security for people with mortgages or rent to pay.

Simultaneously, they are concerned about whether the NHS and care system that their parents rely on will be able to withstand the effects of public spending cuts, rising drug bills and an ageing population.

Treasured institution

Our NHS is Britain’s most treasured institution but like a plant it must be fed and nurtured or it will be lost.

Labour’s plans for an integrated health and care system and significant extra resources for an NHS put back in charge of care provision do offer real prospects of a healthier future for a generation that has served us proudly.

But in a shrinking world a world class healthcare system will rely on an economy that integrates not turns its back on the rest of the world.

The next few years are crucial for those above and below our sandwich generation, we must make the right decisions or face a troubling future.