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ONS predict UK population growth plateau. Is it a demographic time bomb or a tax-easing gift horse?

Sunday 20th February 2022

By Patrick Bullick

The Office for National Statistics has finally realised that UK population growth will plateau at some point. Up until now, in true ONS fashion, they seemed unable to recognise that trajectories change.

 In the UK, as with many advanced economies, we are having far fewer children than we used to, and at a rate which does not replace the dying population.

Talking of which - the current generation of individuals still living in their 80’s and 90’s are from a particularly healthy generation brought up during and post the war. They did not have fast food stuffed with sugars, they walked to school and work. Plus, they benefitted from the introduction of the NHS and the huge advances in medical science.

My generation and younger are far less healthy, and whilst medical advances will still help, scientists and doctors are not miracle workers !

The upshot of a lower birth rate and poorer life expectancy is fewer pensioners. This means that the government be under less pressure to raise taxes pay for the country’s ageing population.

The other (tax) saving grace is higher immigration, which also helps pay for an aging population and keep taxes low.

But I think we are missing the bigger benefit of immigration here. My own take on it is that a healthy economy needs healthy immigration in order to grow. Sure, we need skilled people but much more importantly, we need motivated people at all skill levels.

Read the full FT article here:

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