Governments face population pressures: Swan

By Rob O’Brien

All levels of government will be impacted by Australia’s surging population growth, the Treasurer Wayne Swan has warned.

Among other projections he announced in a speech to launch the Australian Institute for Population Ageing Research (AIPAR) at the University of New South Wales today, he said over 65s would jump more than 20 per cent in the next 40 years.
“Population ageing is among Australia’s most important long-term economic and social challenges,” he said.
“The proportion of people aged 65 and over is projected to rise to 22 per cent in 2049, compared with around 13 per cent today, and 8 per cent in 1969.”
Equally concerning for local governments providing aged care services was the proportion of the population aged 85 and over, which is projected to increase from 1.7 per cent in 2009 to 5 per cent in 2049.
The AIPAR has been developed within the University of New South Wales and has brought together researchers, government and industry.
“The AIPAR will help to inform debate about the challenges of our ageing population. It will also help to develop policy options for adapting to our changing population and take advantage of the opportunities this will bring.
The AIPAR will also launch its new Longevity Index which will track the ability of an individual to maintain their living standards over their lifetime.
“As the ageing of the population increasingly impacts on GDP per capita and government spending per person, all levels of government will face growing fiscal pressures,” Swan said.

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