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House of Lords committee to look at how ageing population will affect public services
Date of article: 19-Jul-12
Article By: Sue Learner, News Editor
A new House of Lords committee is to look at how the ageing population will affect public services and examine the relationship between people and the state.
The House of Lords Committee on the Impact of Demographic Change on Public Services wants people’s views on this issue that will have a huge impact on the UK over the coming decades.
The Office of Budget Responsibility has said that if current policies go on unchanged demographic change will make the costs of public services unsustainable.
The Committee says in its call for evidence that the challenges posed by an ageing population will require everyone to reconsider their expectations and attitudes towards work, retirement savings and the welfare state.
It wants to hear as wide a range of views as possible to inform their thinking and recommendations.
Lord Filkin, chairman of the Committee said: "Demographic changes, and in particular an ageing society, will create opportunities and challenges for us all. How individuals, families and government address this will be of enormous importance to us all over this decade and subsequent ones.
"Our inquiry will provide the first overall assessment of the potential impact of demographic change and the approaches available to ensure it is managed in the best way possible. We want a broad spectrum of people to contribute to that process and we want to hear from everyone who has an interest in the issues raised, which are as diverse as society itself."
The Committee have published six key questions it is inviting evidence on. These are:
1. Does our culture about age and its onset need to change, and if so, how?
2. Do our expectations and attitudes about work, savings, retirement and independence need to change, and if so, how?
3. Do the extent and nature of public services need to change? If so, how, and how should they be paid for?
4. Do we need to redesign and transform public services for these challenges? If so, how?
5. What should be done now and what practical actions are needed?
6. How can we stimulate national debate about these issues?
The deadline for the submission of written evidence is 1 September 2012. The Committee will start holding oral evidence sessions when the House of Lords returns from the summer recess in October.
The Committee aims to publish its report and recommendations by 28 February 2013.
The Committee will consider the impact of demographic change up to 2040 but will focus in particular on the next 10-15 years.
Committee Chairman Lord Filkin has recorded a video for the Parliamentary YouTube channel which sets out the Committee’s priorities and the scope of the inquiry. It can be viewed www.youtube.com/watch?v=AtXo8p8QL5g&feature=youtu.be