Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Costello: Old people are the biggest threat to Australians

April 2, 2007 - Federal Treasurer Peter Costello has released the second Intergenerational Report, which shows the ageing of the population remains the greatest threat to Australia's economy. He says the Government needs to cut spending and force people into menial jobs. He suggested more women should have babies...
Mr Costello says while the birth rate has increased slightly in the five years since the last Intergenerational Report, Australia's fertility rate needs to increase further.

"It also means developing policies, making it easier for families to have children and to have more children," he said. The government has targeted the ageing population by offering $4,000 to the parents of every new-born child.

The Intergenerational Report, written by a range of government agencies, said the number of Australians aged 65 or older is set to double by 2047 to 25 percent of the population, while the number of people aged 85 or more will triple to 5.6 percent of the population.

The Treasurer says an ageing population means Australia will face a budget deficit of $35 billion in 2047. Costello said the ageing of the population will force the cost of health care to double to 7.3 percent of GDP by 2047

"Demography is working against us," Mr Costello said in his speech to the National Press Club. He said Australian women are having fewer babies than the replacement rate of 2.1 babies per woman, but the government would not be encouraging greater fertility through a full tax deduction for child care.

Mr Costello said the current baby bonus - a cash money incentive - was a better way to help struggling families.

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Wikipedia: Peter_Costello

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