The Intergenerational Report is a document prepared by Treasury officials to advise the Government and the Australian people of how our economy, population and national budget will change over the next 40 years.
There has been a general awareness of our ageing population and the challenges presented by the ageing boom. The Intergenerational Report brings these challenges into focus.
The Australian Government is spending over $100 million per day more than it collects. We need to make sure that we can pay for our future.
The Coalition is serious about addressing the underlying challenges to our Budget and ensuring that Australians have a prosperous future. Already the changes that we have made have contributed to the considerable progress in fixing the Budget since we were elected. The steps that we have already taken have ensured that the deficit has halved, limiting the deficit to around 5.8% of GDP in 2055.
As the Federal Member it is an honour to be able to arrange special congratulatory messages for individuals on occasions like 100th Birthdays. The Intergenerational report shows that life expectancy will continue to increase with Australians likely to live on average to 90 years (females) and 88 years (males). Australia is one of the top ranking countries in terms of life expectancy. By 2050 the number of centenarians in Australia will likely be approaching 40,000. The increase in life expectancy is welcome progress due to advancements in lifestyle and health services.
There are options for ensuring a bright future for all Australians and chief among these opportunities are the possibilities for increasing productivity and participation.
We need to have policy settings which promote the participation of older workers. We need to encourage female workforce participation. If Australia increased female workplace participation to be equal to the rate in Canada our economy would potentially increase by $24 billion. Productivity increases
depend on investment in new infrastructure, innovation, technology, skills, education and entrepreneurship.
The Report clearly shows that we must live within our means to protect our future. It is important that these issues are discussed and understood within the public domain.
It is only by keeping spending under control that we will be able to continue to deliver the services that the community needs and rightly expects.
When we look back to 1975, it is clear that Australia has made a lot of progress over the last 40 years. Average incomes have doubled in real terms and this wealth has been broadly shared across the community.
The Intergenerational report is about the next 40 years. We have to take the steps necessary to secure our future.