Government needs to remove aged workforce barriers

By Rob O’Brien
The Federal Government needs to remove barriers to workforce participation for mature aged people to ease pressures created by an ageing population, according to accountancy firm Deloitte.
The government needs to make the necessary changes to increase GDP to more than 27 per cent by 2050, to counter the projected pressures from the ageing population on health spending and productivity, as detailed in the 2010 Intergenerational Report.

"With more than 25 per cent of government spending directly related to aged care, health and age-related pensions, there has to be a smarter focus on wealth creation and preservation, including incentives for self-funded pensions,” Deloitte Actuarial Partner, Stuart Rodger, said.

“Given that two of the three pillars described in this Inter Generational report (IGR) of productivity, participation and population are very much in the hands of the ageing demographic, the need for Australia’s Baby Boomers to continue to live smarter and better manage their health requirements is critical."
Mr Rodger said that the $43 billion National Broadband Network would help make staying in the workforce a more viable option to support aged workers work remotely.
“To be able to work smarter with both re-skilling and technological facilitators, and to save and spend smarter should help to sustain the productivity necessary to deliver on the Government’s economic growth projections,” he said.
Mr Rodger said the 40-year fiscal gap between revenues and spending from a projected 5 per cent in 2003 to a 3.5 per cent gap projected in 2007, to the current 2.75 per cent for 2050 showed that the IGR continued to raise awareness about workforce and population issues facing governments.
“The good news is that through creating greater awareness of the imperatives to deal with the issues, each Inter Generational report can project a slightly better position than the previous one – diminishing.”

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