Ian explains that fundamental changes to social care and pension policy will be needed to meet the demands in a sustainable manner. Particularly as public spending on state pensions increased from 3.6% of GDP in 1997 to 4.6% in 2016 and spending on health rose from 4.4% to 6.9% of GDP in the same period.
“The number of people in London can be mindboggling so the fact that in 50 years times the UK faces adding a population of that size (8.6 million) to the 65 and over population will sound unbelievable. At that time more than a quarter of the UK population will be 65 and over.
“The implications of a growing older population are beginning to show as cracks in the social care systems and the affordability of the state pension are more than evident.
“While the government is focusing on Brexit in the short term it needs to consider what policy changes need to be made to fit the ageing population – including reforms to the state pension as the old age dependency ratio, the number of people of state pension age per working age, sky rockets.
“Meanwhile, social care reform has been put on the long finger. Something that is deeply concerning when one in five men and women aged between 75 and 84 years have at least some problems washing or dressing. However, more and more of these people aren’t getting assistance from the state as the ONS found that over the six years between 2009 and 2015, there was a 20% decrease in the number of people receiving domiciliary care funded by a local authority or HSCT in the UK.
“This is having a wide-reaching impact that should not be underestimated. A failing social care system has left an increasing number of young carers picking up the slack at the detriment to their own well-being and future prospects.”