Ageing population has 'taken ministers by surprise'
Saturday 13 November 2004
A senior Labour peer warned yesterday that Government policy on the increasingly ageing population is "profoundly mistaken".
Lord Peston accused ministers of failing to meet the challenges presented by improved life expectancy, and of not doing enough to eradicate ageism in the workplace. He said a new approach was urgently needed on retirement, pensions and the funding of higher education.
The peer, who chairs the Lords Economic Affairs Committee, opened a debate on the economic aspects of an ageing population, saying: "We live in an ageist society and it is a society that has not adjusted to increased life expectancy."
Many private firms had an arbitrary age limit when scrutinising job applications, Lord Peston told the committee. In the public sector, Government was flexible over short-term contracts but "very inflexible" on mandatory retirement age.
He said: "Life expectancy is not only increasing but it has been increasing for some time. It is bewildering to be told that all sorts of groups in society - particularly actuaries - are taken by surprise that people are living longer ... The notion that somehow this is a bad thing and is a problem is about the most absurd thing that anybody could dream up."
International Women's Day 2014: The shocking statistics that show why it is still so important
Feminist quotes to inspire you on the International Women's Day
Oscar Pistorius trial first week: Never mind a media scrum – murder case becomes bizarre safari following the tracks of a wounded lion
International Women’s Day: 'When a man gives his opinion, he's a man. When a woman gives her opinion, she's a bitch' - feminist quotes from female icons to inspire you
Malaysia Airlines plane: Oil slick is first sign that missing flight crashed into sea killing up to 239 on board
Apple's Tim Cook: Business isn’t just about making profit
Thousands of young people forced to go without food after benefits wrongly stopped under 'draconian' new sanctions regime
Ukraine crisis: New navy chief 'defects' and surrenders Crimean HQ as Putin claims ultranationalists forced intervention
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Ukraine crisis: Russia dismisses '3am ultimatum' as 'total nonsense'
If you're horrified by a flame-roasted dog, you should be shocked at a hog roast
- 1 To those who can’t see the point of International Women’s Day: you are the very reason it exists
- 2 International Women's Day 2014: The shocking statistics that show why it is still so important
- 3 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 4 Orgasm machine to deliver climax at the push of a button
- 5 Liam Neeson turned down James Bond role because late wife Natasha Richardson said she wouldn't marry him if he took it
£12000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: A small but growing chain of boutique hot...
£12000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: The company works with Tier 1 FTSE 100 Ba...
£45 - 60k Per Annum: Charter Selection: Highly profitable leisure brand, marke...
£30000 - £50000 per annum + Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: Residenti...