Family fortunes: the bank of mum and dad in low income families

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Ryan Shorthouse

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In a major new study looking at the extent of intergenerational
support in low-income families, the Social Market Foundation calls on
Government to do more to facilitate such family-based welfare. When
policymakers try to boost living standards and mitigate poverty, they
traditionally reach for the state (through benefits or tax cuts) or the
market (through wage or price regulation). This research explores a
third source of welfare for low income families: their wider family,
specifically the support from the bank of mum and dad.
The report examines in detail the prevalence, nature and impact of
intergenerational transfers in low income families. Such support
generally generates positive financial and emotional benefits for both
donors and recipients. So new, imaginative policies are suggested to
help low income families provide support for one another, and to better
help those who cannot rely on familial support.


Social Networks, Households, Poverty, Income Dynamics and Finance