Economic Implications of an Ageing Australia
The commissioned study into the ageing of Australia’s population was released April 2005. The Commission found that one quarter of Australians will be aged 65 years or more by 2044-45, roughly double the present proportion. This gives rise to significant policy challenges. The Commission maintains that policy responses would have to be broad and at all levels of government. Policy measures will be needed to reduce the fiscal pressure from ageing and/or to finance the fiscal gap. Reforms would be needed in key human service areas, such as health and aged care, where the pressures of an ageing population will impact most. The resulting fall in labour force participation would also need to be addressed. The Commission shows that raising labour force participation and productivity can partly offset the impacts of an ageing population. These would enhance income growth, helping to sustain economic growth and living standards, and increase the capacity to ‘pay’ for the costs of ageing, as well as through taxation.