Thursday, 25 June 2009

Britain's 'baby boomers' today

During the dark days of the Second World War between 1939 and 1945, millions of couples in Britain postponed the decision to have a child. Consequently, hundreds of thousands of women became pregnant either in 1946 or early 1947 and gave birth in '47. I was one of the babies of that year as was the entrepreneur Alan Sugar, and the musicians David Bowie, Elton John, Ronny Wood, Brian May, Dave Davies, the actor Jonathan Pryce, the writer Salman Rushdie and the wife of Prince Charles, Camilla Parker Bowles.

As children we stretched the resources of the state. In 1952 new primary schools were opened to accommodate the surge in numbers and then new secondary schools. The South London Comprehensive I went to, had 2,500 pupils. Then came the new universities of the 1960's - Kent, Warwick, Essex, York and the one I attended - Sussex.

And now collectively, as we reach state pension age, we are once again stretching the resources of the State. The women of 62 are there already, the men like me, will be there in 3 years. We are an expensive problem and will continue to be, until our numbers begin to diminish over the next 20 years or so.

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