WHICH is better – an apple or a pear? They are just different. And so, too, are the generations. This thought is prompted by the article by Marianne Taylor ("Baby boomers must start sharing their property wealth", The Herald, March 12).

My parents’ generation (the pre-baby boomers) had the war to cope with, good employment opportunities, were generally careful with money and resources, many lived in single- income families. Only the minority were able to pass on property. The state mostly provided end-of-life care, if needed.

Most baby boomers did not inherit property, taking on mortgages with a 17 per cent interest rate in 1979. Yes, the prices of houses seem low now, but so were the wages: averaging £120 a week before deductions, and few families had two full incomes. Families with children had to pay 100 per cent of their childcare costs. Around 1990 some four-year-olds could go to a free state nursery for about seven hours a week in Scotland. Parents who could not afford childcare took the risk of coming out the job market, or went part-time (with inevitable effects on potential pension income, later in life).

Are gold-plated pensions a myth? In 2018 the average works pension is £12,000 a year.

Many baby boomers are contributing to society by providing free childcare for grandchildren or caring for elderly parents.

And what of the baby-boomers’ "golden years"? With no limit on the IOU aspect of residential care, many families can only watch their supposed inheritance melt away, if long-term care stretches into years.

What about our boomerang children, whom we continue to support for an extra decade?

And the university education which we supported because the maximum student loan was/ is not enough to live on?

The bank of mum and dad which some are lucky to have?

No generation really has it easier or more difficult than another: life is too complex for that to make any sense.

We baby boomers are doing a damn good job already in supporting one generation above and two generations below.

Apple/pear? Just different.

Sheila Jamieson,

Gardener’s Cottage, Pitcaple, Aberdeenshire.

MARIANNE Taylor castigates me and others of my generation for all the ills – well, most of them, anyway – which may afflict our children and grandchildren.

The figure of £60 billion by 2040 is quoted. I haven't read the Resolution Foundation's report, but is this figure £60 bn per year, or is it spread over the next 22 years?

She supports the solution proposed by Lord Willets, of some form of additional tax on wealth, either by a levy on house transactions, and/ or by some manipulation of Inheritance Tax. The idea has some merit. However, it is not clear at what levels these imposts would have to be set in order to generate the equivalent of the revenue produced by a 15p increase in basic rate income tax. If levied on property, then presumably this would be in addition to the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax/Stamp Duty if the baby boomer was downsizing. I can easily envisage a situation in which any government, with its voracious demand for money, would soon be contemplating raising the rate, or widening the range of assets on which the tax as levied.

I'm disappointed that there appears to be no recognition of the fact that increasing numbers of us baby boomers are working on (and paying more tax) past the state pension age, or doing voluntary work to improve the quality of life in so many communities, or undertaking child care duties to enable our children to work (sometimes doing two, or even three out of three).

However, I suspect that many of us are interested in maximising our wealth because we realise that, in the event that we require residential or nursing care for any extended period of time, then this will rapidly dissipate our assets.

Christopher W Ide,

25 Riverside Road, Waterfoot, East Renfrewshire.

MARIANNE Taylor misses a number of points.

First, anyone with assets of more than £23,000 will be paying for homecare services in Scotland. That would take in baby boomers who own their own home.

Secondly, many of the baby boomers she refers to are already paying council tax at the top rates, so downsizing in theory would see them contributing less to local taxation.

Thirdly, downsizing is easier said that done. For example the average house price in East Renfrewshire is around £240,000 but one would be hard pressed to find a new two-bedded flat for under £289,000, even new builds in nearby Langside exceed that price. Downsizing means spending more for a smaller house and makes no economic sense.

Fourthly, many people who are asset rich are cash poor and therefore not in a position to pay more tax other than on a deferred basis. Given that these assets will have been acquired when interest rates and taxes were higher than they are now then this is a double tax, which seems unfair.

Bill Eadie,

8F Hazelden Park, Glasgow.