Ready for Ageing? - Select Committee on Public Service and Demographic Change Contents

Annex 1: Overview of our work

57.  The Committee on Public Service and Demographic Change was appointed by the House on 29 May 2012 "to consider public service provision in the light of demographic change, and to make recommendations".

58.  We decided to focus our work on ageing because it is the most substantial demographic change underway, will affect the whole population, and will have wide-reaching implications for individuals, public policy and public services.

59.  The United Kingdom population is ageing rapidly. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has projected that in England in 2030, compared to 2010, there will be 51% more people aged 65 and over, and 101% more people aged 85 and over.[24] This shift will have major implications for society's attitudes and expectations and for the demands placed on many important services for the public, as well as for their affordability and the way they are delivered.

60.  Our focus has been on the impact of ageing on public services in the medium term, looking ahead to 2020 and to 2030. Looking ahead by seven to 17 years gives enough distance to make the changes that are happening clear, yet this period is within the scope of realistic planning and allows for shifts in public policy and services to be made soon.

61.  Many aspects of health services, social work and housing policy, along with other relevant public services, are devolved to the legislatures of Scotland and Wales, and transferred in the case of Northern Ireland. For this reason, the main focus of this Report is on England. However, many of the issues that we have highlighted apply throughout the United Kingdom.

62.  The annexes that follow lay out in more detail the evidence that underpins the findings in our Report. They are designed to show how we came to our conclusions; highlighted in bold text are key findings relating to the proposals that we make in the Report. In the course of our inquiry, we heard oral evidence from 67 witnesses, and received a large quantity of valuable written evidence.

63.  We are grateful to the many individuals and organisations that assisted in our work, and to the academics who undertook specific analyses for us.

64.  We are particularly grateful to our Clerk, Susannah Street; our Policy Analysts, Tristan Stubbs and Tansy Hutchinson; our Specialist Advisers, Professor Howard Glennerster and Mr Jonathan Portes, for their expertise and guidance throughout this inquiry; and our Committee Assistant, Bina Sudra.

24   Central Government (DoH, DWP and DCLG), written evidence. Back

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