Monday, 7 November 2011

The inconvenient truth lying at the bottom of our aging population

An article by Jeffrey Simpson in the Nov. 5th Globe and Mail (Link here) outlines the problem intrinsic to Canada's aging population: costs will increase, while revenue growth will decline.

Aging will drive up costs for health care (already the greatest financial obligation of government budgets) and income support for the elderly.  At the same time national income will slow as a vast number of baby boomers slip into retirement.

The problem is carefully explained in a study by Christopher Ragan, a public policy economist at McGill University.  If taxes remain the same while spending rises there will be "an ever-widening yearly gap" between revenues and expenditures from today until at least 2040.

The choices become either raising taxes or reducing spending or borrow the money.  Borrowing will burden future generations and is the least responsible, although the easiest political option.

Given the inconvenient truth lying at the base of the problem there are only two remedies at hand; raising taxes or significantly changing the scope and structure of public programs and policy.  There is in actuality no other option.

This knowledge is essential for DNV Council (and other levels of government) to retain as a central point of reference as we enter this critical confluence of a rising aging population and declining revenues.

This knowledge is also an essential point of departure for DNV residents to retain in setting priorities for their communities' viability and their expectations of DNV politicians' abilities to deliver amenities and services at an affordable price.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I will definitely recommend this to my friends