Senate debates

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Questions without Notice

Intergenerational Report: 2015

2:10 pm

Photo of Mathias CormannMathias Cormann (WA, Liberal Party, Minister for Finance) Share this | Hansard source

The consequences of inaction would be a weakening economy, less opportunity and lower living standards and, of course, what we need is the exact opposite. We do have an ageing population; that is a good thing. All of us can expect to live longer and to live longer healthier—thank God for that! The alternative ain't that flash!

But this does have implications for economic growth because an ageing population means a falling workforce participation rate and lower productivity. So that has implications for the revenue side and for the expenditure side. An ageing population means elevated expenditure on health and social services, and we need to prepare for that. We need to embrace it as an opportunity but we also need to prepare for the challenges that come with it so that in the face of changing global economic conditions we are as resilient as we can be and as strong as we can be, and that we are in the strongest possible position to take advantage of the opportunities that will come from significant growth in the Asia-Pacific in the decades ahead.


No comments