Brits are gloomiest about future generations

By Cassie Chambers

Concern for the welfare of future generations is higher in Britain than anywhere else in the world, a poll out today claims.

The poll, commissioned by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), asked individuals in 13 countries a series of questions about government policies and the current economic climate.

The ITUC says the results of the poll point to widespread anti-austerity sentiment, a lack of faith in government and support for strong labour laws.

Of all the countries surveyed, the UK had the highest percentage of respondents expressing concern for the welfare of future generations, with 93% stating that they believed future generations would be worse off than their own.

Commenting on the findings, ITUC general secretary Sharan Burrow stated: "The democratic contract with voters is broken in many countries. Governments must pay heed to their people or we risk increasing political and economic instability."

The ITUC sees strong labour laws as the best way to begin to improve the economy and rebuild the democratic contract.

Brendan Barber, the UK's TUC general secretary, argued: "Unions are making the case for an alternative to austerity – one that invests in young people and prioritises growth over a discredited economic doctrine that is failing across Europe."

Ms Burrow also warned against the dangers of austerity: "Given a choice of economic policies, two-thirds of people support government action to invest in job creation to allow economies to grow and pay off debts compared with less than one in four who want debts paid off now by cutting back on government spending."

The results of the survey will be presented by the ITUC to world leaders at the G20 Summit in Mexico later this month. Mr Barber will lead a delegation to discuss the poll's results with prime minister David Cameron.