It’s the young who get the blame for Britain’s boozy image with scenes of drunken carnage on a Friday and Saturday night.
But the official statistics tell a rather different story. Problem drinking is on the rise – not among teenagers, but their grandparents. In fact, young people are drinking less, taking fewer drugs and teenage pregnancies are falling too.
With their generation disproportionately affected by the economic crisis, rebellion has been replaced by angst about lack of jobs and spiralling debt. However the over-60s – largely immune from the cuts – are spending like never before.
As the old cut loose and the young cut back, we’ve polled 1000 over 60s and under 30s to find out more about this generational role reversal in the first of our series of special reports.
Later, Virginia Ironside, the author and agony aunt who turned 70 this year, debates the generation game with Katie Morley, a 20-something financial writer who’s campaigned to improve young people’s retirement prospects.