Aidan Regan: Are millennials really worse off than their parents? Yes – and politically, this matters

The real-wage stagnation and collapse in home ownership that marks a reverse in fortune for today’s young people is also shifting voting patterns here and abroad

The claim that Irish millennials can expect a lower standard of living than their parents resonates with a lot of younger voters. Picture: Fergal Phillips

Is it true that millennials, those born between 1981 and 1997, are the first generation in Ireland to be materially worse off than their parents? Holly Cairns, the 33-year-old leader of the Social Democrats, made this bold claim during leaders’ questions in the Dáil last week.

Her statement was clearly a critique of Fine Gael, which has been in government since the aftermath of the great recession in 2008-2010. As Cairns starkly put it, this ...