NEWS:

Responding to today’s Fiscal Sustainability Report by the OBR, Baroness Sally Greengross, Chief Executive of the International Longevity Centre – UK (ILC-UK) said:
“The costs set out today are not inevitable. Increasing the average retirement age by just one extra year could bring in around £13bn or 1% of GDP. Real political and financial investment in the prevention of ill health could save money for health and social care.

Older people already contribute billions through volunteering and care. Creating the right incentives and support could deliver even greater contributions.

On the other hand, these projections could turn out to be far too cautious. If we don't invest in the prevention of ill health, fail to significantly extend working lives and do not to support the voluntary contributions of older people, we could see even higher costs. Investment in ageing research must be adequate and focussed on addressing the big longevity challenges.

If tomorrow’s pensioners are more unhealthy healthy than today’s, with less access to preventative care, and few new health innovations, costs will be higher than projected.

The cost of our ageing society is not about the free TV licence or the bus pass, yet recent political debates have focussed on these issues to the exclusion of the long term challenges.

We increasingly hear of crises in the health and care sector, whether it be pressures on acute services or care failing to meet our needs. Without a long term plan these crises will become even more common.

Despite the warnings set out today, Government does not have an adequate strategy to respond to the challenges posed by the Office of Budget Responsibility. Government must respond positively to the challenge set by Lord Filkin and the House of Lords Committee on Demographic Change and Public Services. We must have a White Paper with a clear, holistic strategy for ageing covering all branches of public service delivery.

All of the political parties must come into the next general election with specific plans on responding to the challenges and opportunities of longevity.

Inaction is likely to result in higher taxes and fewer and poorer public services for all of us.”

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