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The proportion of the elderly among our population is inexorably edging up at an astonishing rate. The 3% natural growth rate of the Island population by 2035 is dwarfed by the two-thirds growth there will be in the number of those aged over 65.


significant reserves and assets of nearly £6 billion. By comparison the UK government debt is £1.7 trillion, which is 88% of their GDP, and their most recent annual deficit was £76 billion, 4% of GDP.


Our relative success should be applauded and welcomed.


But there are clear and unavoidable challenges. First, an unprecedented number of Islanders will move from work into retirement. Given that these are people in the later stages of their career, they tend to be well remunerated and are providing key support in all sectors of the economy. They will be a great loss to many businesses, who will be losing workers with great experience and who provide great value. This will, of course, have a substantial impact on tax revenues, with fewer taxpayers and more people relying on tax receipts.


Secondly, this will entail an increase in spending on public services. Specifically, pensions and healthcare are likely to need extra funding in one form or another.


These two shifts necessitate difficult choices about how we face this challenge. There are many options. Some countries have restricted access to Government-funded services, perhaps by raising the pension age. On the other side of the coin, countries have increased their tax base through investment in the economy, or through recruiting more workers from overseas.


We are proud to be pushing forward an agenda that looks to the future and plans for the long term. We do not shy away from the difficult choices ahead, but we want to


make sure that Islanders now and in the future have the same opportunities. In the unpredictable world of politics where politicians come and go, it is of the utmost importance that those of us who really care about our Island lay down the groundwork for a sustainable future in the coming decades. No gimmicks, no short-termism, but a forward-looking vision of a stable and prosperous future.


h f h ve the


Our approach to this changing world takes into account other challenges on the horizon. Holistically, we must ensure that our plans are future proof. We set out our approach in the Strategic Plan, which focuses on improving health, education and infrastructure, boosting economic growth and maintaining sustainable public finances. In the two years since we agreed this plan we have seen a steadily improving economy.


Our financial services industry is working hard to adapt to the changes that Brexit will bring. Jersey has been trading with Europe from outside the EU for many years, and as this will be a new position for the United Kingdom, our regulator, we are engaging with UK counterparts to share the experiences of being considered a third country outside of the EU.


Through the Medium Term Financial Plan we are funding essential services, making the most of fast developing technology, and reforming the public sector to cater for the changing demographics. We want to care for our growing elderly population but we also need to maintain a healthy economy and work towards balanced budgets in the next financial plan.


An Ageing Island


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