Austerity, Ageing and the Future of Public Spending on Older People

Austerity, Ageing and the Future of Public Spending on Older People
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Date(s) - 26/11/2012
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

British Library Conference Centre

A British Library and Strategic Society Centre joint debate about public spending on older people in a time of austerity.

Date and time: 17.30-19.00, Monday November 26th, 2012

Location: British Library Conference Centre, 96 Euston Road, London, NW1 2DB

Government austerity and cuts to public services are seeing increasing debate about the future of public spending on older people.

The universal nature of some public spending directed at the older generation has been attacked from multiple quarters, particularly given the ‘property wealth windfall’ experienced by this generation over the last decade, and the growing pressure on public spending that an ageing population brings.

However, social policy analysts have long identified means testing of older people as highly problematic, not least because one third of pensioners entitled to extra means tested support – about 1.3 million people – do not receive it.

In addition, there is growing concern that fiscal policy debate about “winners and losers” will see cuts to policy interventions – such as investment in prevention – that have the potential to reduce the costs of population ageing to the Exchequer over the long-term.

This event, which will also see the launch of a new discussion paper on this topic by the Strategic Society Centre, will therefore explore:

  • Is it true that older cohorts have escaped the effects of the government’s policy response to the economic crisis?
  • What are the pros and cons of targeting public spending on older people proportional to their means?
  • Should older people be expected to “pay more” at a time of government austerity, and if so, how?
  • Is political debate capable of identifying and protecting cost-effective public spending on older people, such as prevention strategies that reduce ‘downstream costs’?

Speakers at the event comprised:

  • Carl Emmerson, Deputy Director, IFS
  • José Iparraguirre, Chief Economist, Age UK
  • James Lloyd, Director, Strategic Society Centre

The event was chaired by Jude England, Head of Social Sciences, British Library.

Download the slides: Austerity, Ageing and the Future of Public Spending on Older People – Slides

Or, view the slides below:

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