Telegraph article on ageing populations

They are at it again. The UK economic establishment drips pessimism on so many fronts as it makes wild and wrong forecasts which deter investors, frighten entrepreneurs and damages confidence needlessly. This time we are told an ageing population means ever rising costs of pensions and healthcare which will require ever rising tax rates. It will, they suggest, eventually prove unaffordable.
        As always you should query their understanding of the  numbers and doubt their long range predicitons.  In a table of 127 countries the UK is well down the list of ageing populations in 43 rd place, close to the USA at 50. The current average age of the UK is 40.6 compared to 48.6 in Japan, 47.8 in Germany and 46 in Hong Kong and Italy. The proportion of the population under 20 is a lowly 15.6% in Hong Kong and 16.1% in Japan compared to 23.2% in the UK. They seem to forget that last year alone the UK invited in 1.2 million new people, many of them young. Quite a lot of more elderly people leave the UK to retire in warmer countries.  The UK’s fertility rate, the number of babies per woman, is below replacement, but is considerably higher at 1.63 than Italy at 1.24, Hong Kong at 1.23 and South Korea at 1.11.
        The Uk is better than many advanced countries at raising the retirement age and pension entitlement date as  longevity increases. It is important going forward that we continue to do this so that people pay in for pensions sufficiently to cover the costs of their retirement. The UK public sector has failed to reform its pensions as the private sector did, leaving taxpayers with large bills for index linked pensions that were unfunded or inadequately funded. This should be reformed for new entrants.
         The key to granting realistic  pensions and meeting the bills lies with achieving decent economic growth. With growth tax revenue expends more rapidly than the economy, as every additional  pound of activity is taxed more highly. As individual and company incomes rise so higher rates of income tax are paid and more items attracting VAT are bought. The problem so far this decade is threefold. There has been too little overall growth thanks to high tax rates,  lockdowns and wars. There has been a productivity slump in the public sector with more spending and less output. There has been a big inflation driving up public sector costs and above all the interest burden on the state debt. We cannot go on like this. It is not the fault of any ageing in the population but the result of a public sector whose costs are out of control and whose output has fallen. The UK put u[ corporation tax whilst our neighbour Ireland kept it low. Ireland collects four times as much company tax per head as the UK as a result. What a stupid self inflicted wound.
         Indeed, the elderly are part of the solution, rather than being the main problem. There are many in their 60s and 70s with energy and abilities, and some with savings who can return to the workforce, or set up their own businesses and self employment at times of their choosing, or offer help to their children to free them for more working hours. Many already do this, but there are hundreds of thousands who might like to do more if the tax system was friendlier and the support more easily obtainable. The slump in self employment with a loss of 800,000 self employed since February 2020 includes a lot of older people. If the government changed the IR 35 rules to make it easier to win contracts more might return to do some  jobs for people and for reward. If the VAT threshold for registration was raised more small businesses might expand and offer part time employment to older people. If the rules on childcare and childcare taxation were amended more grandparents might help more to boost the working age workforce.  None of these imply compulsion or conditionality. They offer people better choices and the chance to increase their incomes if they wish.
       The economic establishment has created the problems of high public spending and high borrowings. The Bank forecast inflation of 2%, gave us inflation of 11% and still denies all their money printing had anything to do with it. Now they seem to want a recession as they lurch to too little money and credit. The OBR regularly overstates the deficit by £100 bn or more, usually underestimating tax revenues, yet presumes to tell Chancellors they must raise taxes to tackle the deficit of their imaginings. The very well paid senior management of HS 2  runs with large delays and more than 3 times budget but offer  no explanation of why they were  so wrong and no hope they might be able to put it right. The civil service recruits tens of thousands more staff but cannot explain why its productivity has fallen so far.
       If we run the public sector better, control inflation and use tax cuts to expand work and capacity we can afford decent pensions and heath care. So banish the establishment pessimism, improve its forecasts and  pep up its management.


  1. Mark B
    October 4, 2023

    Good morning.

    I have not been following the Conservative Party Conference but have, on occasion, listen to various commentators on it. From what I am getting it seems that this conference is merely being used by various potential candidates to the Leadership of your party, Sir John. It is therefore worth pointing out that, many of the problems you highlight in this and other articles, are either the fault of the current leader of you party and said candidates. eg MASS IMMIGRATON and high inflation etc.

    Given all this, why should anyone vote for your party ?

    1. PeteB
      October 4, 2023

      Inded Mark, a sorry state of affairs.

      On the topic of ageing populations and low birth rates, this is an excellent pattern which we should welcome. Once it is a worldwide phenomenon we will see the human population fall. That is the factor which can really help the planet – less demand for water, food, hydrocarbons, minerals, land, etc…

      Why does nobody talk about the benefits of depopulation, yet the chattering masses cannot shut up about net zero?

      1. Hope
        October 4, 2023

        All facts known and problems caused by your party and govt over 14 while each election promising to solve the problems your party and govt caused.

        HS2 EU infrastructure project to connect all EU cities.
        Johnson and Shapps announced a review of HS2 and it continued! Why were there no penalty clauses for milestones to be achieved by fixed dates? Was/is there any project management? When Shapps and Johnson carried out said review what was put in place to prevent time losses and cost increases? What civil servant oversaw this on the govt behalf? Has he/she been sacked? What sanction imposed on civil service? Or is it like the NHS give it more money cross your fingers and hope? Tell us JR.

        Braverman gave another speech, like Johnson before her- he claimed he would send boat people straight back!- fine words but based on deed 0 out of 10 for delivery. Many PMs promised to scrap ECHR including woke May, Cameron and Johnson. On the quiet 1.2 million visas issued last year, when given no one knew who was going to leave!! Against manifesto to reduce numbers! No intention whatsoever, complete dishonesty.

      2. Peter
        October 4, 2023

        Cecil Rhodes confidently stated ‘the more of the world we inhabit the better it is for the human race’. He was right of course despite the criticism he draws today.

        The problem is we in this country are not having enough children. The media has been brainwashing people for decades not to have kids. Two incomes have become the norm for a household and childcare to raise infants.

        The you get hypocrites like the Duke of Edinburgh sticking his oar in, while raising four children of his own at the public expense.

        Raise enough children in our own country instead of importing working age adults from elsewhere and the problem would be sorted.

    2. Everhopeful
      October 4, 2023

      Well the probability is that Starmer ( would it even be him?) would be even worse.
      As the time approaches I am thinking “better the devil”…
      Which is somewhat defeatist but maybe realistic? Who has stepped up to the plate?
      Will Tice’s party really field candidates everywhere?

      NF seems to have taken the conference by storm. Very odd!

      1. MFD
        October 4, 2023

        We will field all the candidates for Reform UK we can afford Everhopefull!

    3. jerry
      October 4, 2023

      @Mark B; Surely ‘mass immigration’ [1] would cure the problem of a countries aging population and low birth rate (ie. people leaving the job market and not being replaced), just as it helped cure the UK’s lack of working age adults back in the 1950s, no?

      Time for a proper debate on inward migration, not what we have now, lies to further a totally different debate (Brexit) or salvos fired in a proxy leadership context.

      [1] I am not suggesting *illegal* migration (levels) are acceptable

    4. Ian+wragg
      October 4, 2023

      If economic growth is only achieved through immigration it becomes a ponzi scheme. Ever more needed to pay into the treasury to service an ageing population. Trouble is most of who we I.port are net takers.

      1. MFD
        October 4, 2023

        Agreed Ian.

    5. glen cullen
      October 4, 2023

      Its also pathetic that everyone has been told to include the term ‘long-term’ …its so obvious its like a 6th form trick

  2. Lifelogic
    October 4, 2023

    “if we run the public sector better”. Could it be run much worse? Totally misdirected and hugely inefficient. HS2, lockdowns, Covid vaccination for people with zero need of them, pointless degrees, over regulation of everything…

    Life expectancy has actually fallen rather significantly over the last 3+ years. This due to Covid and the coerced net harm Covid Vaccines, if you look at the statistics. Andrew Bridget will doubtless explain this in the Commons on 20th Oct. Let us hope some MPs actually stay to listen this time.

    1. Sir Joe Soap
      October 4, 2023

      Just rejoice that it helps the demographics!

    2. Lifelogic
      October 4, 2023

      So rather large saving for the government (on pension, social care and benefits due to these early deaths.

    3. Ian B
      October 4, 2023

      @Lifelogic – The first lesson of Government, any Government is they cant and never have been able to run anything directly. For then even to suggest they can shows incompetence and just playing to a self gratifying personal ego.

    4. jerry
      October 4, 2023

      @LL; There are scientific statistics, and then there are personal assertions, the latter often based on incomplete or cherry picked statistics. I take it the MP in question will be presenting peer reviewed papers and evidence on 20th Oct?

    5. Ed M
      October 4, 2023


      You exaggerate the efficiency of the private sector:

      1) There’s actually a hierarchy of efficiency from the brilliantly efficient high-tech start-ups to hybrid private-public like NATS (which O’Leary described as sh-t) and which give themselves huge salaries! I used to work in a very large IT company and I can tell you there were certain individuals who knew very well how to play the game of appearing to work hard but weren’t at all.
      2) There’s a hierarchy of efficiency within the public sector too between those with work ethic and those without.
      3) A lot of people don’t want to work in the more stressful private sector but prefer to work in the public sector. This works well for many wives and mothers who want to work but also focus on their kids (and they could end up not working at all and going on the dole). But that the public sector must be paid less than the private sector and accordingly so.
      4) Scandinavia has high tax to pay for high-quality public sector. Not saying I necessarily support the Scandinavian model. But what model do we aim for? The American model (with its high crime rate and crazed society with mass shootings, high divorce rates, and the rest).

      In fact the real problem in our economy is NOT economic policies (although can be fine-tuned for sure) but a lack of work ethic. Lack of people taking responsibility for themselves. Lack of sense of public duty. Lack of family duties. Lack of patriotism. Which leads to lack of productivity overall and people not wanting to work (and so immigration). This is a far greater problem than economic policy. And the only way to address this is chiefly through promoting healthy Conservative values (like the ones mentioned here) through the churches, education, arts and media. Politicians can do a bit. But their power is fairly limited in reality.

      1. Ed M
        October 4, 2023

        Also, if the women (and some men who aren’t as strong as other men) don’t do these jobs in the public sector and stay at home instead or work in a cafe instead or something then whose going to do the public sector jobs (whether they are in the public sector or move to the private sector)? People will still have to do these jobs – and so the only alternative is to increase immigration.

        So you keep our women (and some men) working in the public sector or you increase immigration to get immigrants to do the work or the economy shrinks. And I am NOT saying one cannot shrink some areas of the public sector but on an ad hoc basis not as a matter of ideology. That’s my main point. Otherwise you could be creating more of a problem – increasing taxes in the long-term – rather than relieving the problem.

  3. DOM
    October 4, 2023

    If a Tory PM isn’t going to impose brutal reform and changes on a unionised public sector power bloc then I see no point in empty words. An example. Young doctors or indeed any NHS or public sector essential staff should be banned from strike action. As any Tory MP demanded this reasonable demand? Erm, no. Why? Because they don’t want a war and bad headlines. It’s Tory party interest above all else and that is recipe for disaster

    We’ve had 13 years of wet Tory crap that’s brought us to the brink of a (really bad? Ed)government and they will implement changes that will change forever this god forsaken nation.

    That it’s taken a Hindu politician to tackle the racist poison of woke fascism and the dangers of mass immigration and the targeting of western indigenous culture tells you a lot about the Tory party today.

    Braverman’s speech was the only one worth listening. Woke will destroy this nation, as it is designed to do, unless it is purged

    1. PeteB
      October 4, 2023

      Dom, from the news coverage you’d assume Braverman’s speech was the only one made that day. That in itself is telling.

    2. Everhopeful
      October 4, 2023

      Agree 100%
      She is brilliant ..but then she is allowed to be.
      The victims of this appalling discrimination (us) have no voice.

    3. Michelle
      October 4, 2023

      Very well said. Such is the appalling state of things here, that it can only be someone from an ethnic minority background that can point out the obvious implications of mass immigration of vastly different cultures. Braverman and Alp Mehmet of Migration Watch are two very sensible people on this issue.
      Accusations thrown around should such as myself and millions like me are very redolent of the old witch trials.

    4. Narrow Shoulders
      October 4, 2023

      Workers at monopoly services should be banned from striking. They should work to rule but not be able to strike.

      Minimum service levels is not the solution, banning them from striking is. Let them come up with novel ways of inconveniencing us by working to rule. Strikes are supposed to punish the employer, not the end user.

    5. David Bunney
      October 4, 2023

      I very much disagree with your sentiment on banning unions and strike action. There are so many areas of society where people are generally not unionised and their pay is dismal. Many people have not had sensible pay rises in a long time and the governments money printing spree during lockdowns and the high dependency on imported energy, food and goods has created a lot of inflation which compounds with time! Look at teaching assistants who are out on ballot to strike currently. They cannot live on their wage unless they have a pension or have a high earning partner to pay the bills. Let’s say your wages hadn’t gone up since 2008 and for simple maths your earned £1000/month according to inflation calculators you would have to have a 50% pay increase to catch-up now. So the doctors and nurses, teachers and alike are not asking to be made super rich at the tax payers’ expense. They can and often do go abroad to earn much more in places like Australia. I wish more undervalued persons up and down the pay scales and job roles were unionised.

    6. Dave Andrews
      October 4, 2023

      If you’re going to deny NHS workers the right to strike, something else needs to take its place. I suggest the power to suspend the chief executive’s salary until the dispute is resolved. That might get results more quickly.

    7. Cheshire Girl
      October 4, 2023


      I listened to Suella Bravermans speech, in full, on the TV, and I was impressed.

      However, just one point. She said she was soon going to empty the hotels where the asylum seekers are currently housed, and got a massive cheer. However, she didn’t say where the occupants of the hotels, are to be housed.
      I cant think where they could go, as there is no spare social housing, and I thought that all the reception centres were full.
      I wait with interest.

      1. Mickey Taking
        October 4, 2023

        cardboard city – here we come?

    8. Ian B
      October 4, 2023

      @DOM Its been promised for more getting on for 14 years, and each time they grow the problem, employ more in non-jobs, create more Quango’s, employ more of their mates that cant get a job elsewhere to do nothing. So on and So on. A endless growth in the NHS, with decline in services, an MOD that is now approaching the size of front line combatants, but not capable of delivery. Work to a balanced budget, put in procedures for ‘good housekeeping’, no chance. Keep giving UK taxpayers money to Foreign regimes with no return – the list of unexplained unexplainable incompetence is endless

    9. Paula
      October 4, 2023

      DOM – The degree to become a doctor takes 5-6 years depending on intercallation (if one wishes to train to be a surgeon after year F2.) The competition for a medical school place is intense and the very best exam results are needed.

      They were promised £15 per hour *index linked* in their F1 year (by 2023) when they started their training in 2015. With the rampant inflation we’ve had since, that £15 per hour looks a lot less now. By the F2 year they can discharge a patient, section a patient and administer controlled drugs to a patient – in short they can be in charge of a ward or a whole hospital (with on-call back up of course.)

      This is a student digs existence. It doesn’t really get much better when one becomes a *junior doctor* (ie not a consultant) The wages aren’t particularly good at £45k especially when one takes on board the student debt (typically £100k) or the loss of six year’s of earnings, three years of low earnings and inability to get on the housing ladder in that time.

      They have qualifications and skills that are in demand globally and that’s why we have shortages.

      Why is it OK for corporate directors and government executives to claim large salaries because they are in global demand and yet doctors can’t ?

      I view this dispute differently to all the rest.

      The Tories have fallen out with the most conservative minded people there are and their families. It generally takes a traditional family with conservative values to produce a doctor.

      1. Paula
        October 4, 2023

        Dom – that £15 per hour in 2015 should be quite a bit more now and does not factor the freeze since 2008. The 35% being demanded is simply restorative.

        These are wage cuts by stealth at a time that taxes are at their highest and avoidance of tax by billionaire corporateers using off shore havens ever more ingenious.

    10. rose
      October 4, 2023

      Mrs Braverman is a Buddhist. Her father was from Kenya, originally from Goa, and her Hindu Tamil mother was from Mauritius. She is a cradle Conservative. Her mother joined the Conservative Party on arrival here in the 1960s and continued to campaign vigorously in a hostile Labour constituency, with Suella in tow.

      1. lookout
        October 4, 2023

        That’s interesting. Didn’t know she was a Buddhist.
        Lots of young people worldwide are drawn to Buddhism.

  4. Sakara Gold
    October 4, 2023

    The only growth that the Conservatives have achieved in 13 years is growth in the number of people who work for the government – now ~23% – and growth in the size of the national debt.

    People leave this country to retire overseas because they have had enough of the highest taxation since the war – and get crap public services in return.

    1. Mickey Taking
      October 4, 2023

      another growth factor, those emigrating,.

    2. Lifelogic
      October 4, 2023


  5. Denis+Cooper
    October 4, 2023

    Obviously we need more young people, and we need them to stay young forever, not age and become a burden, and as we have not been producing enough young people ourselves obviously we need to import them.

    Google for [demographic population ponzi scheme].

  6. Clough
    October 4, 2023

    Suella Braverman is the only front-bench Conservative politician who could steer the Tories to victory in a general election. She won’t be allowed to, though.

    1. hefner
      October 4, 2023

      Suella Braverman as Home Secretary has been helpless and has not provided any noticeable impact on the level of immigration, legal or illegal.
      Her speech to the conference gave me nausea.
      Is that what the Conservative Party has been reduced to?

      1. Martin in Bristol
        October 4, 2023

        Your solution hefner is what exactly?
        When you get over your nausea perhaps give us your actual solutions.
        Do you think current levels of immigration ( legal and illegal) are sustainable ?

        1. hefner
          October 5, 2023

          The 13/12/2022 PM’s statement on illegal immigration.

        2. hefner
          October 7, 2023

          And if the MiBs on this blog had two pence of intelligence they might realise that any effort by Suella and her ilk at weakening human rights could put them in an ´interesting’ situation if ever one day they would need to call on these rights to obtain some redress from the State.

          But hey MiB isn’t trolling fun?

  7. Jonty
    October 4, 2023

    So now the woke establishment figure which is undermining the Conservative party is … wait for it … The Daily Telegraph. Comical. Admit it Mr Redwood, you’ve had THIRTEEN years in government and you have FAILED. Go, I don’t care if Farage or Starmer takes over, I just want the Tories out, and I will be voting accordingly

  8. Richard1
    October 4, 2023

    I didn’t hear Liz Truss’s speech but it was said to be good, and less wooden than her habitual style. But did it contain any concrete suggestions as to how to cut spending? The U.K. govt now spends 45% of GDP. Jeremy Hunt has reportedly said it’s impossible to cut public spending (except presumably capital projects). Why? By the end of the coalition govt spending was heading towards 35% of GDP. This is the problem, the state is too big. All the really successful economies have much lower state / GDP ratios. The US is heading in the wrong direction under Biden but it’s still in the low 30s. Switzerland is about 30% and Singapore c. 20%. We need to cut useless public spending. The other half of HS2 is a start, although of course we should be saving the other £70bn by cutting the whole thing. But let’s get rid of all these quangos which cause so much damage. There must be 1/2 million public sector employees at least whose ‘work’ causes harm to the rest of the economy as it involves making up fatuous rules, spurious forecasts etc. there will only be growth if we get a government prepared to chop. Liz Truss and her supporters, for all their positive free market talk, have never addressed this fundamental issue. If they had she might still be PM.

    1. Clough
      October 4, 2023

      To be fair to her, she could only speak for about 5 mins, if you’re referring to the fringe ‘Great British growth’ event, Richard.

      But the very fact that this was a ‘fringe’ meeting tells you quite a lot about the Tories, these days.

  9. Robert Thomas
    October 4, 2023

    i am sure you are right in drawing attention to the growth in the numbers of the civil service together with the concurrent decline in its efficiency and output.
    Reducing the cost of Government is vital if taxes are to be reduced.

    1. Ian B
      October 4, 2023

      @Robert Thomas – repeat ‘Reducing the cost of Government is vital if taxes are to be reduced’ increasing taxes rewarding the BoE for failure with Taxpayer bailouts, sending UK Taxpayer out of the Country in givaways is just stoking the fire of failure.

  10. Keith Jagger
    October 4, 2023

    How very true Sir John. Civil Service like Topsy just grows! Sad reflection that no Party has taken positive action to stop the decline or the booby traps laid by Blair ‘s years. E.g. the IED of the Equality Act 2010 left by Harriet Harman at the end of Blair’s reign or the stupidity of putting Net Zero into law by May! Presumably the Civil Service writes the laws and with so many lawyers in Parliament why do they get passed when many are badly written, leaving the Government open to so many legal challenges. Fair when they act ‘ultra vires’ but now left open to political challenges on everything. Perhaps they should stop enacting everything via secondary legislation to avoid scrutiny of hastily prepared bills. Which now gives the impression of deceit not helped by courts now appearing political.

  11. Lifelogic
    October 4, 2023

    “Young doctors or indeed any NHS or public sector essential staff should be banned from strike action.” This is surely a form of slavery. 50% of leaving anyway due to pay levels. Hunt made a big think of his £11 per hour minimum wage. New Doctors (if you deduct interest on their student loans) actually get less than £11 per hour. Simply not enough to live on and rent a basic room in London.

    1. Mickey Taking
      October 4, 2023

      50% leaving? Really? evidence? -or merely the close to impossibility to get a Doctor’s appointment?

    2. Ian B
      October 4, 2023

      @Lifelogic – Jeremy Hunt started the rot he refused medical staff a recommended 1% pay increase then followed it up by giving Hospital Chiefs 6%.
      With a net-worth said to be more than £14million, he appears to be one of those arrogant people that doesn’t like the ‘little people’ even when they get to pay for his mistakes

  12. Berkshire Alan
    October 4, 2023

    At last we have a Home Secretary that is prepared to tell the truth about the real problems of immigration and population movement.
    Now politicians know the real risk (well some of them) that many of us have known and been preaching for years, how about they now come up with a simple working solution that will limit it !

    With regards to older people to remain working, that is all very well for those who are fit and well, and have not wrecked their bodies and joints on construction sites, or completed other hard labour manual type work, but not so easy for these people to carry on !
    Yes I know you can retrain some, but many are in constant pain and are not independently mobile. Their brains may be willing, but their bodies and spirits are broken !

    1. Ian B
      October 4, 2023

      @Berkshire Alan – In this new Conservative Government World everyone, including those in factories, construction, offices etc. all WFH. We all mirror the London Metro bubble and Civil Service

  13. Sir Joe Soap
    October 4, 2023

    Haha yes all those 20 something male incomers are the answer to all our demographic problems. Not.
    Your post conjures up a picture of 70 something tradesmen working to pump tax into the economy to support even more of them, then die early too to help the demographics. It’s just not gonna happen. Fantasy world.

    1. hefner
      October 4, 2023

      Sir John’s idea of people getting to retirement and going on with a job is for the birds (or for those with a sinecure of a second job).
      People in good health are much more likely to volunteer for a charity or go travelling (if they have the means).

      Reply Let the people choose.

      1. Mickey Taking
        October 4, 2023

        Income is what decides. Suffficient and they relax on cruises. Adequate and they volunteer. Insufficient and they work to make ends meet.
        Over to you Rishi.

      2. Lifelogic
        October 4, 2023

        Indeed freedom and choice and not government market rigging.

  14. Hat man
    October 4, 2023

    I would be interested to know how the ‘output’ of the public sector is measured. I can see in certain cases how that works – number of patients treated by the NHS, number of speeches given by MPs (or matters brought by their constituents resolved) etc.

    What about civil service or local government employees? What about state school teachers? Does anyone know?

    1. hefner
      October 4, 2023

      That’s the 64,000 $ question.

      1. Mickey Taking
        October 4, 2023

        It meant something if you were compos mentis in the 1940s/1950s.

  15. Sir Joe Soap
    October 4, 2023

    “offer help to their children to free them for more working hours.”
    While teachers slob around at home on strike?
    Sorry, not biting.

    “In a table of 127 countries the UK is well down the list of ageing populations in 43 rd place, ”
    Think about why this might be, and the consequences.

    Today’s post is dreadful.

    Your successful society imports youngsters to reproduce – a 2 pronged approach to lower average age, then works parents, grandparents and the old into the grave in order to save pension money and support the new population, again reducing the demographic. This isn’t success, it’s abject failure in every possible way.

  16. Mike Wilson
    October 4, 2023

    There are many in their 60s and 70s with energy and abilities, and some with savings who can return to the workforce

    Well, that’s me. But nothing will drag me back to work. I worked hard, very hard, for 48 years. As well as working long hours and being self employed for most of that time, I have also spent what could have been leisure time extending and renovating my various homes to add value – to build up the capital behind me. I never had enough money to save for a pension (too much tax and a family to support) and, when I tried, guess who chose Equitable Life. So, no thanks, I’ve done enough work. I had to downsize and move away from my family to get a retirement.

    I’ve done my bit and ad two children – one of whom has had enough of this country and is off to Australia. The other, I think, will follow. So that’s two high earning, high tax paying, young people you’ve lost, Mr. Redwood, so I guess your deliberate policy of high immigration is necessary.

  17. Everhopeful
    October 4, 2023

    Are we certain about aging population though?
    Is the age of death really rising?
    If you have more children you have more deaths at an early age and that brings down the average age of death.
    20 acknowledged pregnancies were not unusual in Victorian times.
    Whoops…WW1 put an end to much of that.
    Then they started with the 2.4 nonsense which worked as well as the scamdemic!
    And now how can anyone tell? Or why on earth should they care, sincethe country has taken in so many newcomers?
    AND this low fertility stuff really annoys me. Fertility is the ability to procreate. Lack of English children has been forced on us by govt.s. English people are not infertile just misled!

    1. Mickey Taking
      October 4, 2023

      bringing children into the World, at least in the UK, does some financial damage to the family.
      So guess what, responsible workers delay or simply don’t.

      1. Everhopeful
        October 4, 2023

        I thought I said that!

  18. Lifelogic
    October 4, 2023

    Nick Robinson in the Telegraph. “You might not like the BBC – but we still serve this country well
    Despite politics becoming more divisive and the media more fragmented, 61 per cent of people still say they trust us”

    Sure NICK, absurdly one sided, wrongheaded propaganda on climate, woke lunacy, diversity, migration, vaccines, the size of the state, duff economics, anti-landlord, anti-drivers, anti- business & tedious programs to boot… their old repeats are the only thing worth watching.

    If people are served well they will pay for this service so abolish the licence tax then. Then abolish (or tax breaks at least) the need for people to pay for state healthcare, state schools, trains, subsidised state housing… unless they use them. Freedom, choice and fair competition between public and private provision please.

    1. Lifelogic
      October 4, 2023

      Or education vouchers you can use and top us as you wish. Tax breaks if you do not use the NHS and if you do have to in an emergency perhaps then your insurance then pays the NHS. Abolish IPT on medical insurance too. Why do we have to pay 4 times over?

  19. William Long
    October 4, 2023

    But none if this will come from the current Conservative leadership. OBR is their bedside reading.

  20. Roy Grainger
    October 4, 2023

    “The UK economic establishment drips pessimism”

    True, but the “UK economic establishment” includes the Conservative PM, Conservative Chancellor, and >50% of Conservative MPs. Indeed the former Conservative PM Mrs May seems to think the massive trillion £ costs and taxes needed to reach Net Zero will actually promote growth. Labour, bad though they are, are better.

    1. Ian B
      October 4, 2023

      @Roy Grainger – so far the only growth for NetZero is the volumes this Government is encouraging in imports all the while it chops the legs of those that would rather produce here in the UK. Even the much heralded battery plant in Somerset, is money going to India to import components and pay for help from China. The Worlds 2 biggest polluters are given UK taxpayer money, to carry on polluting. While all the while UK options are left crippled and short of funds. There are many more insane examples of the Conservative Government crippling UK businesses while paying polluters to import.

  21. michelle
    October 4, 2023

    Reading a Hansard paper on a debate during the tenure of Blair and this notion/excuse for mass immigration being all about our ageing population was blown clean out of the water. That was way back and since then millions more have been invited in. It was nonsense then, as was the need for diversity and multi-culture, and it’s nonsense now.
    A study showed that right up to 2020 ( this debate was back in early 2000’s) we would have sufficient work force. Isn’t this why we have statistics offices, to see ahead any problems before they arrive on the door step and take necessary actions?
    It was a true Conservative speaking plainly in the debate who declared that even if we were facing a shortage, mass immigration was not the solution short term or long term.

  22. Narrow Shoulders
    October 4, 2023

    Maybe the aging do not want to work or look after their grandchildren so their children can work.

    Why does everyone have to work. Life is for living. Our housing is too expensive which forces more people into work or onto benefits to pay for it.

    The solution to an aging population is to reduce housing costs, not to put them to work. That requires fewer people and more houses in areas they want to downsize to.

    We should not be seen as perpetual tax payers.

    1. Peter Parsons
      October 5, 2023

      We could also try to get back to the levels of housebuilding that occurred in the 1950/60/70s. If those levels of building had been sustained in more recent decades, housing would be a lot more affordable. The fact it wasn’t sustained was a political choice (the figures show that the difference is primarily down to the likes of social housing no longer being built in any meaningful numbers).

  23. Bryan Lewis Davies
    October 4, 2023

    I think the simple fact is that the voters will do what it takes.

    1. Ian B
      October 4, 2023

      @Bryan Lewis Davies – We have to take a leaf out of the Socialist ‘playbook’ to rebuild you must destroy and shatter what you have, or in this case could have had if only honesty and integrity existed.

  24. Christine
    October 4, 2023

    If you are short of money why are you encouraging people abroad to buy NI credits to give them a full UK retirement pension which is on top of their foreign ones. For only £3.45 a week anyone who has previously worked for just a few years self employed in the UK can do this. I personally know lots of people in Spain doing this. Your government has even extended the deadline to allow more people to buy credits. I have contributed 44 years yet I don’t qualify for a full pension. Yet again we see this government bending over backwards to support foreigners at the expense of those living in the UK.

  25. Bryan Harris
    October 4, 2023

    Brilliant article – I trust that will be a part of your speech at the conference?

    The UK economic establishment drips pessimism.

    Yes, indeed it does at strategic points, and for the reasons mentioned.

    They will always find ways to talk us down – this 5th column in the UK establishment, with their half-truths, innuendos and tales of misery.

    Economic prosperity while living within a budget is the road to success – but this is very far from the path we are being taken down currently.

  26. David Bunney
    October 4, 2023

    John, I understand and respect that you have a very interesting and intellectually stimulating job that you want to continue to do and contribute to society beyond normal retirement age. But not everyone has a job they love, and perhaps it is physically demanding and their health means they can no longer do it easily or without pain. I don’t feel we should have to rely on people in their mid sixties or older working to make the wheels of society turn. I understand many people have to work because successive economic policies of government have eroded the value of their pensions, savings, and investments and taxed the value of these assets or incomes away also. The state has an unhealthy habit of considering everyone’s assets and savings as being its own to take and spend as it wants with complete disregard for the impact on the long term wellbeing and security of those people who are being deprived of their wealth. Mass immigration is not a real solution to demographic shift and the lack of people being able to afford to settled own and have children and the complete erosion of social values and norms that make people feel proud and happy to start a family. If people are not getting married and having children (and that is a global problem of the Developed world) that needs solving. What we don’t need is to let millions of people in legally or illegally to further create social strife, with a further melange of cultural values and in the case of the unskilled economic opportunists arriving in small boats, people who will never contribute effectively to society or the economy. Further even if they all spoke perfect English, wanted to integrate culturally and socially and were going to be hard working, picking fruit in the fields etc. they are almost all men, meaning you still have a demographic imbalance and cannot have children. We need sensible policies to support the creation and nurturing of families, upskilling people in many areas and encouragement for people to go into agriculture/farming, industry, manufacturing etc. which also need government support, tax incentives and energy policies which make it possible to compete globally. I have not see mature, well-rounded policies since the days of Margret Thatcher when she used system designers and business analysts to help map out sub-systems in the economy etc and target policies in a way that can be effective without many unintended consequences. I hope the Conservatives can get back to a “MAKE BRITAIN GROW AGAIN” stance.

    reply I m not suggesting all older people will want jobs! I believe in choice. I designed many of the policies for Margaret in the mid 80 s

  27. agricola
    October 4, 2023

    The first weakness of the UK state pension scheme is that it is a rob peter to pay paul creation. If paul increases in number while peter decreases it can get out of balance. The answer is to progressively change the system having first created a national investment fund, ring fenced against the predations of government vanity projects. Government being insuficiently responsible to be allowed access to it. You may ask where the funds might come from. After totally changing the business plan of the UK oil gas and coal industry so that UK users are shielded from world prices, a levy can be put aside for the next ten years, invested by professionals, and then form the nucleus of a pension fund. Once working, a small levy could be imposed on a range of business activity. It requires an acceleration of Rishi’s first step in opening up the Rosebank oilfield, at sea and on land. It was done by Norway so why not here.

    Public pensions should be invested in by the working ultimate beneficiaries. Rate payers and tax payers should not be called upon. End of discussion.

    I want a nation and its population living on profit. Not a nation subject to the dependency culture that successive governments have encouraged. For that we need a Liz Truss approach to taxation.

    Today Rishi has to go way beyond the cancellation of parts of HS2. We need real vision and most important the waypoints for achieving it, not rhetoric.

  28. jerry
    October 4, 2023

    “This time we are told an ageing population means ever rising costs of pensions and healthcare which will require ever rising tax rates. It will, they suggest, eventually prove unaffordable.”

    I wonder were such pessimism comes from, our governments and politicos who insist the State retirement age has to rise, that social care (for those of pension age) has to be reformed if it is not going to become unaffordable perhaps.

    “Quite a lot of more elderly people leave the UK to retire in warmer countries.”

    Well they used to…

    “The UK’s fertility rate, the number of babies per woman, is below replacement”

    Indeed, but why, once again government polices perhaps, unaffordable rents and mortgages, all but requiring average households to have two (full-time) incomes, never mind the crazy political correctness of the Blair era that no Tory leader, from Cameron to Sunak, have dared to question?

    Stop blaming others for believing the chatter that emanates from the ‘Westminster Village’!

  29. Donna
    October 4, 2023

    If, if, if.

    If we had a Conservative Party, we might get some of these issues properly addressed and reforms implemented.

    But we haven’t got a Conservative Party. We’ve got a Blu-Green-Socialist parody of one. And as the last genuine Conservative Prime Minister told us “the problem with Socialists is that they always run out of other people’s money.”

    Unless and until the few remaining Conservatives in the Blu-Green-Socialist Party find a way to dismantle the NuLabour State, nothing will change. And let’s face it, there’s no realistic hope of that ever happening and certainly not under the Sunak/Hunt Junta.

    1. Mickey Taking
      October 4, 2023

      Blue-green, when algae, usually means stagnation and then death.
      Sounds just about right.

    2. Timaction
      October 4, 2023

      +1. Things have to get worse under Starmer before the population get sufficiently angry to vote for Reform or a radically REFORMED Tory Party. So we have at least 6 more years of same old, same old misery of our Westminster bubble dwellers mainly populated by Labour/Liberal/SNP and a couple of lonely Tory’s.

    3. Ian B
      October 4, 2023

      @Donna – How would that work? UK MP’s and UK Government working for those that pay and empower them.
      Its not us deserting the Conservative Party, after the last few days of conceit and self gratification the real reason has been confirmed – it is the Conservative Party, this Conservative Government that have deserted the People of the UK. They have given everyone a bloody nose for putting their X on the paper to support them

    4. Peter Parsons
      October 5, 2023

      And yet it was Thatcher who came up with one of the biggest, if not the biggest, socialist giveaway of other peoples’ money ever – Right to Buy.

      Buy your council house at a discount of up to (currently) £85,000 and keep it all for yourself when you sell. I wish I could have got the government to give me £85,000 of other peoples’ money towards the cost of buying my house.

  30. Jude
    October 4, 2023

    Totally agree with everything you have said!

  31. Walt
    October 4, 2023

    Yes, Sir John. The public sector does need reform, real and serious. Who will do it and when? There was a moment when it appeared that Dominic Cummins might be enabled to do so, or at least to make a start, but no. Instead we have the occasional voice in the widerness, whose calls go unanswered.

  32. Bloke
    October 4, 2023

    Some MPs bend over backwards trying to seem youthful and useful but some crack shows where they are unfit for purpose. Others try to see things from the elderly point of view but develop senile plans as if they are supposed to fit. Many more expand the civil service as if that is pursuing growth. All we seek is simple efficiency, yet there are too many naïve idiots in power.

  33. David Frank Paine
    October 4, 2023

    Don’t forget that the large cohort of post war baby-boomers is reaching end of life and won’t form a part of these skewed predictions. Any future retirement problems will come from excessive large cohorts of young people coming as immigrants now and skewing the population profile of the UK.

    1. Mickey Taking
      October 4, 2023

      Has anyone tried to predict the change when all Civil Servants (Judges, Top Police, Quangos…etc) reaching this calculated age of death do pass away? There must be quite some drop in Pension paid out?
      Unless of course the younger ones are on even better terms.

    2. a-tracy
      October 4, 2023

      Between 1887 and 2021 the year with the highest number of live births was 1920 1.3m compared to the fewest 1977 657,038 Statista.
      1933 691,560
      1941 695,726
      *1944 878,298
      *1947 1,025,427
      *1964 1,014,672
      2002 668,777,there%20were%20just%20657%2C038%20births.

      Life expectancy UK 81.77, Men 79, Women, 83
      (1941 = 82 years)

  34. Derek
    October 4, 2023

    Facts always win arguments. Unless the deniers are Three Wise Monkeys who live in their own world. Unfortunately for us, we, the electorate, want to live in our world – The NEW World! A world in which we can prosper not procrastinate and decay.
    So why can they not do as WE voters wish? Nanny States never survive.

  35. a-tracy
    October 4, 2023

    “Quite a lot of more elderly people leave the UK to retire in warmer countries”.

    This should be quite easy to discover, how many are claiming their State pension abroad? How much are we paying out to foreign hospitals for these people for their health treatments rebilled to us each year?
    Narpo says more than 1 million pensioners live abroad. 167,580 in Australia.

    JRF say that pensioner poverty has fallen dramatically from 28.5% in the late 1990s to 13% in 2012, the latest data says 15%.

    So why are they coming for pensioners? Could it be because we’re importing child poverty? You can’t take in a million with nothing, and house them, how many of the 1st generation immigrants remain single to maximise our benefits (man on the side) increasing child poverty? There is trouble brewing.

  36. Everhopeful
    October 4, 2023

    Why aren’t the tories shouting from the rooftops the consequences of a Labour govt.?
    Shout about Starmer’s plan to take a share of even MORE immigrants?
    OK we’ve suffered this cowboy builder ….but do we REALLY want to employ an even worse one?
    So much for giving the tories a bloody nose!

  37. Linda Brown
    October 4, 2023

    A lot more people who are retired would probably be interested in returning to work a couple of days a week or more if they liked the jobs on offer. However, you cannot expect these people who have put in the years of work to take the tax system currently on offer. I am nearly £20 down on my previous pay since April when Mr Hunt took his tax, saying on the one hand he was giving us the triple lock but on the other taking extra tax off us as our small private pensions then fell into the tax bracket. Do you think we are stupid? I also worked part time after retirement but was not impressed with the quality, or lack of it, in the staff there. I have been in management and older people are not offered the quality of jobs they once did as we have to make way for the younger element. Well that is okay as long as they are up to it but when you see women (who I fought for equal rights for in the 1970s) taking off as much time as they can for pregnancy and then hopping off home when there was a child crisis, it makes you wonder what is going on. It is almost like people are the employers now and the firm is secondary. That is the problem. if you want a job you work for a company and that comes first not your personal life.

  38. APL
    October 4, 2023

    JR: “The UK economic establishment … ”

    Just for your information, YOU are part of the UK economic establishment.

    JR: “… it makes wild and wrong forecasts which deter investors, frighten entrepreneurs and damages confidence needlessly.”

    Guess what, this is part of the process ( undermining the faith and credit of the financial system, that the WEF/DAVOS maniacs ) have in mind for us.

    They intend to destroy faith in Sterling in order to drive people into CBDCs. People who find their savings are now finding the value of their savings being cut in half every ten years, will think the CBDC is a lifeline.

    It isn’t, it’s a millstone.

  39. Mickey Taking
    October 4, 2023

    I read a lot about Public sector pensions. It should not have escaped your attention that ever more people reach retirement age, or eligibility, and assess that they will not be able to live above poverty level without continuing to work. Their skills, reliability and need to work surpass the expectations of the younger people in our country. Rather unimportant further qualifications are often sought to put off the day work must be started, or an end to daytime gaming.
    The career or employment advancement, even self esteem, seems to be drained from the young. The growth of woke ( I sometimes find it lost on me) pervades our society – a challenge to what made Britain great, a belief I fear gone for good.

  40. Bert+Young
    October 4, 2023

    A very sensible and forthright post from Sir John today . He sums up accurately what our politico /economic dilemma is and – as a result indicates why he should be in front or behind the decisions in number 10 . I am one of those in the very aged category and can look back over many times good and bad ; apart from the Thatcher period the Conservative period of control has little to boast about and major change is now a necessity . How can this occur ? – only by an organised back bench force of dissent . Please let it happen soon .

  41. Norman
    October 4, 2023

    Reference striking doctors, hopefully there are some who are still driven by vocation, come what may. However, we who benefit from their skills need to have compassion on them, too, as it must be so difficult these days to keep up with the expectations of such a complicated world. This no doubt applies to many other vocations, as we see the signs of stress there, too – e.g., Law and Order, Politics and government, the Armed Services, Education, etc. Sadly, so many of these pressures are self-inflicted, as Sir John rightly implies. There are no doubt a hidden few everywhere, who keep going, trying to keep some sanity amidst the madness. We don’t see much about them in the media, but they keep things together. It would be good to hear them being appreciated and acknowledged, but they are by nature, unsung heroes, I guess.

  42. David Andrews
    October 4, 2023

    Health care costs of a growing, aging population also need to be considered. Unfortunately UK business, the primary source of wealth creation, achieves much lower returns than achieved in say the USA. High taxation contributes to this

  43. glen cullen
    October 4, 2023

    I’m surprised that people are still duscussing the VAT rates when they should be discussing the repealing of EU taxation invented laws across the whole of the UK ….Why are politicians so afraid about discussing the removal of a tax scheme …don’t replace it with anything just do less government

    1. Mickey Taking
      October 4, 2023

      What! Vote for losing jobs for their mates! Not a chance.

  44. miami.mode
    October 4, 2023

    As home ownership falls more and more pensioners will have to rent and current pensions only just cover typical rents so housing benefit will rise accordingly.

  45. glen cullen
    October 4, 2023

    ‘’The Mayor of the West Midlands is understood to be preparing to resign immediately after Sunak’s speech’’ GB News

    Please please take this opportunity to disband the tory invented bureaucratic roles of ‘mayor’ & ‘police commissioner’

  46. a-tracy
    October 4, 2023

    “If we run the public sector better”.

    I actually think this is a big part of the problem that politicians think they run things, when the nationalised industries just run rings around you, including the Labour Party. Milburn thought if he smothered the NHS with affection everything would be fine, he discovered many conservative reforms had merit and developed and refined them often with more disruption. GPs and Consultants fought against new contracts and then accepted them gaining more money than the department had predicted. Hewitt continued with progressive introduction of private sector services and a more market based approach. Even with all this in 2009 Johnson was doing yet another review to explore “causes of dissatisfaction among staff and patients”, why would they be dissatisfied at the end of a Labour decade when we are now told they fixed everything.

    I hold the NHS Managers, Directors, and contractors responsible, they’ve had the money they demanded they haven’t allocated it correctly, they demanded ventilators and PPE on our news every night for a month, they are wasteful, and they’re never happy. But for gods sake what is Barclays role that he doesn’t demand their top bods come and do the media interviews with him, that he doesn’t sack the failing ones etc ed. No-one wants to tackle anyone in the public sector …….

  47. Ian B
    October 4, 2023

    “What a stupid self inflicted wound“ Sir John are you sure? These moves, along with World High energy taxes. Local Councils let loose on punishing the motorist because they haven’t spent money on infrastructure improvements, but have spent it on ego. Using taxpayer money to subsidies UK imports while banning the UK from producing home grown commodities. Not so much a ‘self inflicted wound’ more a deliberate policy of punish, cancel and remove the UK chances of ever being self-sufficient and self-reliant. There can be no other reason for such malicious damage

    The Conservative Government keeps demonstrating that the don’t work for those that pay and empower them, but for entities elsewhere that are sucking the wealth out of the UK. The Conservative Party is complicit in this in that they keep supporting this ineptitude.

  48. Atlas
    October 4, 2023

    Sir J. – Agreed with what you say, the problem is that for most of your Parliamentary party they don’t want to know – until they get the order of the boot at the GE.

  49. Ian B
    October 4, 2023

    The Prime Minister made five pledges on cutting inflation, NHS waiting lists and debt, growing the economy and stopping the small boats. Similar to all the pledges made for close on 14 years, Similar to all the Party Manifestos over the same period.

    The bulk of UK inflation is as a result of our 2 Chancellors raising costs for everyone with their 70 year high punishment.
    They have thrown more money at the NHS than can be imagined by most of us, but never suggested what it should be spent on or quested a return of better service – all the NHS can show is bigger Discrimination Department. They don’t understand a Balanced Budget – what type of Chancellor is that?
    The debt is growing and growing because our 2 chancellors complicit with their BoE have kept increasing interest rates, while spending money we don’t have on subsidising Foreign Imports, therefore Foreign Governments with UK Taxpayer Money.
    This Conservative Government is orchestrating, through cancel, punish and banning the decline of the UK economy, yet uses Taxpayer funded subsidises for replacement of our economy with imports.
    Stopping the Boats, can’t stop until the UK like the rest of the World makes its own Laws, places Parliament at the helm, of their creation, amending and repealing – i.e. becomes a defender of the UK and Democracy in its own right.

  50. glen cullen
    October 4, 2023

    Its woke and presidential to bring your spouse on stage ….next you’ll be inviting Ursula von der Leyen

    1. a-tracy
      October 4, 2023

      I think it’s a woman thing, she seems nice to me and as you know I’m not a Sunak fan at all I can’t forgive or trust backstabbers personally, and she was supportive and made him seem more human, boy did he do well marrying her! Plus when these men come to power their other halves do get dragged in don’t they, everything from who they’re friends with, what they’re wearing, what work they do, nothing is left private once they cross that threshold.

  51. Original Richard
    October 4, 2023

    I’m glad I won’t be a pensioner in the 2050s trying to survive the rationing of food, energy, heating and travel as a result of Net (or even Absolute) Zero.

    Active travel and living with rolling blackouts is inconvenient when you’re young and healthy but a misery when you’re old.

    If the current course of mass immigration continues the country will feel like the UN and, probably, having signed so many international treaties by 2050 will most likely be governed by the UN.

  52. glen cullen
    October 4, 2023

    All I heard was that they’re cancelling hs2, banning cigarettes and continuing with net-zero …..I missed the bit about lowering immigration, lowering taxation, lowering knife crime

    1. Mickey Taking
      October 4, 2023

      oh! does that matter, then?

  53. Paul Isherwood
    October 4, 2023

    Two thirds of pensioners pay income tax. Any rise in the pension is taxed. Given the additional tax deducted due to the freezing of personal allowances last years 10.1% resulted in a nett 5.8%. Those on other “benefits” received the full 10.2% as they don’t pay tax. Result…..2/3 of pensioners contribute to younger unemployed pay.
    A penny off income tax pre election will not restore what has been taken back.

    1. Mickey Taking
      October 4, 2023

      and the mean Scrooge fixed it to apply worse each year going forward! Unless increases are stopped TOTALLY.

  54. Ed M
    October 4, 2023

    ‘even though the vast majority of Silicon Valley does’t depend on government at all’ – I mean now compared to when Silicon Valley first mushroomed.

  55. Keith from Leeds
    October 4, 2023

    All good stuff, but what we want is action, not words. Civil Service is out of control & needs a drastic reduction in numbers. Make 430,000 redundant & insist it works with 100,000 staff. Then you might be able to control it.
    Cut every penny of wasted spending. For example, why give money to charities that then oppose the Government?
    I discover, to my horror, that the Home Office has outsourced the assessment of legal refugees, and they are charged £130 for a 20-minute interview. If it goes over 20 mins, it is another £130. The legal refugee I know has had to produce 67 different documents prior to their interview. What then, do Civil Servants in the home office do all day?

    1. Mickey Taking
      October 5, 2023

      Dominic Cummings!

  56. Ian B
    October 4, 2023

    An ageing population should only give cause for concern when a whole Governments ethos is predicated on running the Worlds biggest ‘Ponzi’ scheme. That has been the known situation for quite a few generations now.

    Knowing this situation is not viable, if you as an individual take it upon yourself to take care and administer your own life, the Authorities and in particular this Conservative Government comes down on you hard, punishes, cancels and bans you. For them to master their control to hide their inabilities, fraudulent mode of operating, they seek to stifle any suggestion of solving things and moving forward. They are just Socialist Dictators, they are your friends as long as you do things their way without question, believe them and accept your punishment. It is about the embodiment of self gratification of ego, not creating a self reliant and resilient Country, just me, me, me.

    The PM today! A total joke, the new buffoon. Yes we all know he has set hid sights on leaving the UK as soon as possible, why wont he bring the day forward so we can all get on with our lives.

  57. Margaret
    October 4, 2023

    They also forget that many pensioners find that the pension cannot meet their needs and work as well as receive their pensions therefore paying high amounts of tax.

  58. glen cullen
    October 4, 2023

    Could we please have a single age when children become adults with all the associated privileges and responsibilities ….16yrs or 18yrs I don’t care but please select a single age point

    1. Mickey Taking
      October 5, 2023

      judging by regular behaviour in the House, the age needs to be much, much higher.

  59. beresford
    October 4, 2023

    Two hundred years ago the British invented the modern railway. One hundred years ago we were building locomotives and exporting them around the world. Today India is on the Moon and our pathetic leadership can’t get to Manchester. As housing estates proliferate to serve the Elite’s insane mass immigration programme it is going to become impossible to carry out national infrastructure projects like this in the future. What they should have done is suspend the Manchester leg until the Euston-Birmingham leg was running and then appoint a new management team for the Manchester leg led and selected by a Chinese manager reporting directly to the Prime Minister.

  60. Norman
    October 4, 2023

    Reading so many comments re demographic concerns and overpopulation, there’s a word that no-one wants to mention: ABORTION – the legalised killing of babies in the womb – here in the UK since 1967. Some 10 million of them – shameful! And now foisted on Northern Ireland by this Government, and since the Covid lockdown, the ‘pills-by-post scheme’ is making matters worse. Full details on the SPUC website:, an organization I am pleased to support, especially as they educate people as to what is entailed, and provide help to women who feel coerced.

    1. Lynn Atkinson
      October 5, 2023


  61. Ed M
    October 5, 2023

    Just discovered (like last night) that the relative inherited wealth I’ve enjoyed (to pay for my private education and a bit more) came from a part of my family who were QUAKERS. The Quakers. How I love the Quakers now (and their work ethic! even though I’m half Catholic / half C of E although practising Catholic). Without the Quakers in my family I wouldn’t have had this important start in life. But, more importantly about me, how our economy and country needs Quaker-like WORK ETHIC!

  62. Lynn Atkinson
    October 5, 2023

    I created my own funded pension. It does not matter how long I live, the capital invested will provide my income out of dividends, all under my own control.
    Take responsibility for your own life, your own health, your own pension and income. Because every other option will let you down.

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