The impact of demographic change on public services

Document type
Corporate author(s)
International Longevity Centre UK
International Longevity Centre - UK
Date of publication
1 October 2012
Older Adults
Social welfare
Material type

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This briefing presents evidence given to the new House of Lords Committee on Public Service and Demographic Change. It argues that:

  • Our society should seek to become “age neutral”. Age is a poor proxy for, for example, ability, experience, skills, knowledge, and wealth, and yet policies in the private, public and voluntary sector are far too often based on age.
  • Older citizens have a responsibility to remain in the labour market longer, where possible, to enable skills retention and minimise the fiscal burdens on taxpayers.
  • We are likely to need to invest more in preventative health across the life-course.
  • The cost of dementia is likely to play an increasingly important role in influencing public spending.
  • The transfer of wealth from young to old, and its consequent inequality, represents a challenge to the contract between generations embodied in various functions and policies of the UK state that rest on the principle of intergenerational solidarity. It is vital that public policy works to protect intergenerational solidarity.