A bigger Australia won’t solve ageing bulge (1)

Your newspaper is to be commended for the series of features on population this week. I disagree that we need more fertility incentives to boost the youth of our population. A gradually ageing population is not a cause for panic. Concerns raised about the dependency ratio are a furphy. In Australia today, there are more people of working age who are not working than there are people over 65. A recent study by Sustainable Population Australia shows that a reduction in the proportion of people of working age is likely to reduce unemployment and underemployment because the labour market will adjust to the forces of supply and demand and more people will be attracted into the workforce. This is surely beneficial.

The considerable cost of extra infrastructure to support population growth outweighs the small extent to which that same population growth could lessen pension, health-care and aged care burdens. And that is not even including the often-ignored cost of continuing environmental deterioration caused by population growth.

Peter Cook The Australian 26 December 2020

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