Ageing Western populations and falling birth rates – a demographic time bomb

1st June 2011, Comments 0 comments

Western European countries like Germany, France and the UK all have two major problems which are catastrophically linked together: Ageing populations and falling birth rates.

The combined ‘demographic timebomb' creates a whole raft of headaches for future governments, which past administrations have quietly swept under the carpet.

There is not just the question of who is going to care for our aging population, but who is going to pay for it. Looking after the elderly costs an awful lot of money, billions in fact, and it all comes directly from the working taxpayers pockets.

The state ‘old aged pension', benefits and various allowances paid to retired people does not come from a fund of money collected from their lifetime of tax and national insurance contributions (which been spent) sitting in the treasury. It comes directly from today's tax revenues created by businesses and able bodied working men and women.

There is no fund and there is no money left in the ‘kitty' to fund pensions and long term care.

When pensions and ‘cradle to grave' care was devised all this didn't matter a bean. Why? Well, for a start we did not live very long. The average life expectancy beyond the state retirement age of 65 for a UK or US citizen was counted in months rather than years. And more importantly there were around four people working for every one retired. Today there are less than three in many Western countries and fast heading toward a sub two or dreaded 1 : 1 ratio. You do the maths.

To make things worse, up to one thousand people emigrate from Britain every day, mostly highly educated professionals taking their talent, skills and taxes elsewhere.

Read the complete article here.

Source: Charles Kelly / Immigration Matters

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