It is vital to recognise that our gradually ageing population does not necessarily lead to either lower workforce participation or higher welfare burdens, and therefore does not justify government policies to deliver either a higher rate of immigration or fertility. Further, high immigration has, at best, a small and temporary impact on the age structure of the population, because all humans age at the same rate.(1)
"If we look at Australia since 1980, in the same period as our average age has increased by about seven years to 37, workforce participation has also increased, from 62 to 65 per cent. So we’ve aged and lowered real dependency." Sydney Morning Herald
Better respect our senior citizens and work to improve their quality of life, while celebrating Australia’s increasing life expectancy as a sign of a successful society.
"The report found ageism remains the most accepted form of prejudice in Australia... “Ageism is arguably the least understood form of discriminatory prejudice, with evidence suggesting it is more pervasive and socially accepted than sexism or racism." Australian Times
Policy Methods (Federal and State)
To help achieve this Sustainable Australia Party will:
- Return the standard retirement age and access to age pension to 65 (also see Welfare policy)
- Introduce a New Zealand-style universal age pension to all Australian citizens at 65, regardless of other income, but subject to normal taxation rates
- Develop better quality aged, community and home care facilities and standards, including:
- Minimum staffing levels in residential aged care
- Increased home care support
- Provide more preventative health care, social participation and digital literacy opportunities for seniors
- Better facilitate and celebrate the unpaid community contributions of all citizens, particularly older citizens, who make a significant contribution to national wealth and wellbeing
"The 15 volunteers meet once a week to create the upcycled bags out of donated materials, before distributing them to retail outlets throughout Kingston for customers to use free of charge. A retired teacher, Wingard said she had plenty of practice delegating roles and tasks..." InDaily
- The Conversation: ‘The tenuous link between population and prosperity’.
Grattan Institute: Ageing 'will not cause collapse of health system'
MacroBusiness: "Ageing countries have higher economic growth, and improved health and longevity of older people increases their economic contributions".
World Bank: "Dependency rates are not predetermined... and neither must the workforce shrink. Younger people, women, and older people are helping the labor force participation rise in many parts of the world [despite the society ageing]."
The Productivity Commission stated clearly that immigration cannot make any significant or lasting impact on population ageing: “Substantial increases in the level of migration would have only modest effects on population ageing and the impacts would be temporary, since immigrants themselves age.”