Elections, budgets and governance in most western and now developing nations that are democracies are being impacted by increasing numbers of retirees and pensioners in the upper median age demographic, being catered to by politicians, especially conservatives.
From the Australian Broadcasting Commission:
By chief economics correspondent Emma Alberici
Updated 27 May 2019, 9:29am
‘…..The politics may be tricky but future governments will have to confront the grim economic reality of the post-World War II baby boom.
Australians born after 1946 began to retire in huge numbers in 2011. Demand for the aged pension, aged care and health services have been rising commensurately.
The working age population is a net contributor to the federal budget. Older people, on the other hand, are the largest recipients of welfare, aged care and health care services.
Retirees are getting expensive
A report released last month by the independent, non-partisan Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) warns the ageing population will exert “historically unique” pressure on the federal finances in the decade to 2028-29.
New figures in the report show that by 2028, Australians born between 1946 and 1964 will cost the Government more than Medicare does each year. Based on 2018 budget forecasts, the PBO estimates the cost of Medicare to be $32 billion in 2028-29. By then, lost revenue ($20 billion) and increased spending ($16 billion) on baby boomers will amount to $36 billion.
The number of working-age Australians for every person aged 65 and over has fallen from 7.4 in the mid-1970s, to 4.4 in 2015. That figure is projected to fall to just 3.2 in 2055.
Economists and policy makers need to find new taxpayers and increase workforce participation to support the hordes of older people entering retirement.
The ageing population means that by 2028-29, the PBO estimates there will be 600,000 fewer workers.
While the Australian population has been ageing, life expectancy has also improved.
As far as the government’s fiscal fortunes go, it’s a perfect storm. The pension was introduced in 1909 with 65 set as the qualifying age for men.‘
While mostly conservative parties attract most of the upper median age vote they are or have been compromised by financial policies catering to the same, but impairing budgets into the long term. Who’s going to pay? Younger generations…..