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Then two come along at the same time…

February 7, 2011

Just read this article by Julian Glover for The Guardian. It’s talking about the problem posed by cuts to the public bus service and the way in which the huge number of over 60s travelling with free bus passes contribute to this. Although most people would agree that the bus service provides a valuable and often vital means of transport for many elderly people, this article points out that statistically this age group is no longer financially worse off than any other in the population. Essentially it argues that instead of cutting the number of routes the buses run, we should expect more over-60s to pay for their buses, instead of using free passes that the bus companies can’t make any profit from and driving up the cost of buses for the rest of the population. You can read the article here

I really like the point this article makes because it draws attention to a looming problem for the British society and the UK economy. As people live much longer than previously anticipated, the cost of providing for the elderly population exceeds the previously expected demand. Many of these people also stay active and healthy for longer so that it is not unusual or unreasonable to expect many people to continue working well beyond the age of 60. In addition, the population bulge around the so called “Baby-Boomer” generation (1946-1955) means that the population of this country will increasingly become top-heavy. With most of the Baby Boomers expecting to step into a comfortable 20 year retirement at the age of 60 the burden of the increasing cost of their state funded pensions and healthcare will fall on a smaller and smaller work force made up of people 20-40 years younger than them who definitely won’t get pensions and certainly won’t retire at 60.

I’m aware that I’m not proposing any solutions here: I’m just saying we are fo*oked, which isn’t really all that helpful. I would say comments are welcome but I haven’t told anyone about this blog yet…

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