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Ageing population could impact public services

The impact of an ageing population on public services is being considered today as the House of Lords Committee on Public Service and Demographic Change holds an evidence session with the ONS and population academics.

The Committee is investigating the challenges theUK’s ageing population will pose to public service provision and analysing whether these require strategic changes to policy and state expenditure.

They will consider the balance of responsibility between individuals and the state, how state actions can be made more effective and how the ageing population could be an asset as well as a cost.

The evidence session will also question whether there should be a focus on preventative measures, whether there is adequate recognition of the implications of this demographic change and a possible timescale for addressing these issues.

Lord Filkin, chairman of the Committee, said: “Demographic changes, and in particular an ageing society, will create opportunities and challenges for us all. How individuals, families and government address this will be of enormous importance to us all over this decade and subsequent ones.

“There have been a number of studies on the impact of ageing on different public services such as the Wanless Report on the NHS and the Dilnot Commission report on long-term care, but there has not been an overall assessment of the potential impact which also makes broad recommendations for how public service providers should meet the increasing challenges of demographic change.

“We hope to provide that assessment, and expect our report, which will be published by February 2012 to influence a wide span of public policy for the future.”

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