Portsmouth News

Services at breaking point as pensioner figures grow


The proportion of pensioners to working age people in South Tyneside is set to place increased demand on services in the next few years, according to statistics.

Economic experts say higher taxes or lower spending will be needed to cope with the cost of the UK's ageing population.

By 2026 there’ll be 352 people of state pension age for every 1,000 still working.

The ratio, produced by the Office for National Statistics, takes into account migration from overseas and other parts of the UK, based on trends for the past 10 years.

Previous projection­s show the current rate is 322.

Most of the lowest ratios are in London boroughs with growing young population­s. The lowest ratio in England in 2026 will be 91 in Tower Hamlets. The highest will be 679 in West Somerset.

First projected in 2019, the figures take account of the gradual increase in the UK retirement age. By 2026 it will reach 67.

David Sturrock, research economist at the Institute for Fiscal Studies, said the ratio provided a useful measure for the pressure an ageing population will place on society.

He said: “We think there needs to be some response to demographi­c pressures, either through spending reduction, tax rises or some combinatio­n of both.

“Some steps have been made, such as raising the state pension age, but on current trends the ageing population will continue to grow, and it will demand action from politician­s."

According to ONS estimates there were 29,926 people of pension age in South Tyneside and 92,888 of working age at the start of the decade.

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