Response to OBR's Fiscal Sustainability report
Published on 13 July 2011 03:00 PM
In response to the Office of Budget Responsibility's report on the Fiscal Sustainability of the Economy, Michelle Mitchell, Charity Director of Age UK said:
'The scale of projected public spending increases as a result of ageing needs to be put in context. In recent decades public spending has swung up and down by similar amounts due to economic and political changes. We have time to make long-term plans and as a nation we are starting from a good base, with relatively low levels of spending on state pensions and health compared to other rich countries.
'Longer life is a cause for celebration, but it will require economic adjustments. People will have to work for longer and the state pension age will gradually rise to reflect life expectancy. Relative to the size of the economy, it is inevitable that we will see increased pension payments and consumption of health and care. But it is for us, as a society, to choose the balance between public and private provision and what this should mean for tax and spend.
'There is no evidence that the public wishes to see entitlements in later life reduce, when people have contributed for all their lives. If we plan sensibly and carefully calibrate long-term spending and taxation decisions there is no need for national debt to increase alongside life expectancy.'
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Notes to editors
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