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Response to OBR's Fiscal Sustainability report

Published on 13 July 2011 02:00 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.'

- ENDS -

Notes to editors

Age UK

For media enquiries relating to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland please contact the appropriate national office: Age Scotland on 0131 668 8055, Age Cymru on 029 2043 1562 and Age NI on 028 9024 5729.

Age UK is the new force combining Age Concern and Help the Aged, dedicated to improving later life.

We provide free information, advice and support to over five million people; commercial products and services to over one million customers; and research and campaign on the issues that matter to people in later life. Our work focuses on five key areas: money matters, health and well being, home and care, work and training and leisure and lifestyle. We work with our national partners, Age Scotland, Age Cymru and Age NI (together the Age UK Family), our local Age UK partners in England and local Age Concerns. We also work internationally for people in later life as a member of the DEC and with our sister charity Help Age International.

Age UK is a charitable company limited by guarantee and registered in England (registered charity number 1128267 and company number 6825798). Age Concern England and Help the Aged (both registered charities), and their trading and other associated companies merged on the 1st April 2009. Together they have formed the Age UK Group ("we").  Charitable services are offered through Age UK and commercial products are offered by the Charity's trading companies, which donate their net profits to Age UK (the Charity).

Media contact: Anne-Marie Doohan/Fiona Callister
Tel: 020 3033 31444/ 020 303 31439
Out of hours: 07071 243 243

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Last updated: Oct 06 2017

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