3 thoughts on “Europe’s demographic timebomb”

  1. Posted 16/09/2016 at 12:34 | Permalink

    Perhaps the government should encourage families to have 1 more child than they would normal consider ‘affordable’?

    What sort of outputs have occurred from the 1 child rule in China which, incidentally, has now become a 2 child rule?

    At a guess, I suspect the older generation feel ‘less worthy’ than their British equivalents? The average life expectancy for Chinese people is now 76.1 years, compared to the British average which is 81.2 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_life_expectancy#List_by_the_World_Health_Organization_.282015.29)

    And in the UK, the NHS issued a stark warning about how 66% of the NHS budget was spent on 20% of the population.
    https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/feb/01/ageing-britain-two-fifths-nhs-budget-spent-over-65s

    To me, I think the key to ensuring decisions are made in the interest of the many, is for people over the age of 65 to not be eligible to sit in seats of democratic power, such as local authorities. This way there is a clear message that ‘younger’ people should be steering their own destinies, and not have their destinies shaped by people who no longer contribute the most to society.

    The message is that spend on over 65’s is of course something we must do. But not at the expense of the future of those under that age. Too often we see decisions made that cater to the older generation, such as planning decisions, such as reluctance to grasp the digital baton, such as an unwilling to broaden horizons. The value of their property, usually owned, becomes their most important possession, as it represents a monetary legacy to their children.

  2. Posted 22/09/2016 at 12:15 | Permalink

    “Perhaps the government should encourage families to have 1 more child than they would normal consider ‘affordable’?” – Indeed!

    We have socialised the benefits of having children (in that they become taxpayers), while leaving the costs largely to be borne privately.

    What would family-friendly policies look like?

    – charge income tax (or rates) on imputed rental income from dwellings, less a tax-free allowance for each occupant (including children)
    – give each child a tax-free Personal Allowance for income tax, transferable to a parent, or to another carer (nanny/grandparent)
    – make each spouse’s Allowance transferable to the other
    – penalise single parenthood sufficiently that it no longer incentivises parental separation: mainly by stopping giving single parents their own flats. (Declaration of interest – this is my situation.)

    Overall there is a shift in post-tax income away from single people, away from people with more housing than they are using, and away from poor people, and a shift towards people who would be rich enough to be raising their own children if they could only stop paying for other people’s.

  3. Posted 22/09/2016 at 21:17 | Permalink

    And perhaps the key family-friendly policy:

    – give each parent half an extra vote at election time for each child they had. This would mean each child’s interests were being weighed directly in our electoral politics.

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