Australians living longer and in better health, but it comes at a cost | Kanebridge News
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Australians living longer and in better health, but it comes at a cost

The Federal Government’s Intergenerational Report flags changes to employment and taxation as the number of older Australians is set to double

By Shannon Molloy
Wed, Aug 23, 2023 8:45amGrey Clock 3 min

Australians are set to live longer and be in better health into their later years, but that means future generations will need to shoulder a bigger tax burden to pay for it.

Those are some of the major findings of the government’s much-anticipated Intergenerational Report, to be released on Thursday by Treasurer Jim Chalmers.

The report, the fifth of its kind produced over the past 20 years, makes key social and economic forecasts about the next four decades – and what needs to be done to sustain those changes.

It will show life expectancy is set to rise to 87 years for men and 89.5 years for women by 2062-63.

The proportion of the population aged over 65 is forecast to double, while the number of people over 85 is set to triple, which the report concedes is “an ongoing economic and fiscal challenge”.

The economic consequences of those changes will be significant, with health spending expected to increase sharply, Dr Chalmers said.

Four other main expenditure areas of the Commonwealth budget, being aged care, the National Disability Insurance Scheme, interest on debt, and defence – will leap from one-third of total government spend to one half.

In particular, the so-called ‘care economy’ will almost double from eight per cent of GDP to about 15 per cent in 2062-63.

“Whether it’s health care, aged care, disabilities or early childhood education – we’ll need more well-trained workers to meet the growing demand for quality care over the next 40 years,” Dr Chalmers said.

“The care sector is where the lion’s share of opportunities in our economy will be created.”

Productivity, which has slumped for several tears now, is expected to remain flat and the report has revised down growth “from its 30-year average of around 1.5% to the recent 20-year average of around 1.2%”.

“Placing more weight on recent history better reflects headwinds to productivity growth, such as continued structural change towards service industries, the costs of climate change, and diminishing returns from past reforms,” it reads.

“This downgrade is consistent with forecasts in other advanced economies.”

Australia’s population in 40 years’ time is projected to hit 40 million, although the rate of growth will slow. The economy will rely more greatly on migration to meet skills shortages.

Dr Chalmers said the Intergenerational Report is a warning of the need to ensure the coming changes “work for us and not against us”.

“We’ve shown and demonstrated a willingness and an ability to make difficult decisions to put the budget on a more sustainable footing,” he said.

The report’s findings will spark renewed debate about the need for broad-based tax reform, forecasting a growing reliance on income tax as other revenue – like company tax and the GST – plateaus in the next decade.

One section of the report reads: “Structural changes to the economy are projected to put pressure on the revenue base over the coming decades.”

But rather than raising the GST, Dr Chalmers has flagged tax reform targeting multinationals, the petroleum resource rent tax, high-balance superannuation and cigarettes as possible areas of focus.

Ahead of the report’s release, the Business Council of Australia this week unveiled its national plan to grow productivity and increase competitiveness via a package of reforms.

“If we want sustained wages growth and to maintain full employment, the nation needs a reinvigorated economic growth agenda driven by large-scale investment, higher productivity and greater innovation,’’ the group’s president Tim Reed said.

“Our [plan] outlines how to deliver that agenda – putting forward the big ideas to dramatically alter Australia’s economic trajectory to deliver higher living standards.’’

Among its proposed policies are calls for microeconomic reform, a 10-year net zero roadmap and an overhaul of taxation.



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Saudi Arabia’s 2024 Summer TOURISM Plans Unveils New Incentives and Global Attractions

“Saudi Summer is Next Door” plans to boost tourism in the Kingdom over four months across seven destinations.

Wed, May 22, 2024 4 min

Saudi Arabia has unveiled its plan to attract international tourists this summer. The strategy includes appealing visa options, complimentary airline tickets for families, a lineup of major events, and opportunities for tax-free shopping.

The initiative, organized under the guidance of Ahmed Al Khateeb, Minister of Tourism and Chairman of the Saudi Tourism Authority (STA), is named “Saudi Summer is Next Door.”

Jeddah

Extensive Summer 2024 Tourism Activities

The initiative will span four months, ending in September, and will be hosted across seven key destinations: Aseer, Al Baha, Taif, the Red Sea, Jeddah, Riyadh, and AlUla.

It features over 550 tourism products and more than 150 specially tailored offers and packages for families and various interest groups including adventure enthusiasts, luxury seekers, and cultural and heritage buffs.

The launch event of the Saudi Summer Program 2024 was attended by notable figures such as Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization, in addition to more than 250 key partners from both public and private sectors, prominent media personalities, and influential opinion leaders.

Showcasing Global Events and Cultural Richness

This year’s program will also welcome back the Jeddah Season and introduce the Aseer Season, each filled with various activities and events for families. The Kingdom will host several significant events as part of the summer program, including the first Esports World Cup in Riyadh, an eight-week competition featuring top esports athletes, and various boxing tournaments in Riyadh and Jeddah.

During the event, Al Khateeb highlighted the latest global tourism trends, the Kingdom’s growth in the tourism sector, and the record-high tourist numbers that have propelled Saudi Arabia to the top of the UN World Tourism list and the G20 nations list.

Al Baha

Al Khateeb emphasized, “Saudi Arabia is witnessing a transformative period in tourism, driven by our vision to position the Kingdom as a premier global destination. The Saudi Summer Program 2024 is our commitment to showcasing the rich cultural heritage, natural beauty, and unparalleled hospitality that Saudi Arabia offers. “We invite local and international tourists to experience the diversity of our seven unique destinations and take advantage of the exceptional offers and packages designed to create unforgettable memories. “This initiative, supported by our strategic partnerships and groundbreaking efforts like the eVisa and increased flight connectivity, demonstrates our dedication to making Saudi Arabia more accessible and appealing to tourists worldwide. “We look forward to welcoming visitors from all corners of the globe to explore and enjoy the vibrant experiences that await them this summer.”

Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization, also remarked, “Saudi tourism is witnessing unparalleled development at all levels, achieving great leaps in recent years, which I witnessed during my multiple visits to this hospitable country.”

Riyadh

“Saudi Arabia has global indicators related to the number of tourists, which has qualified it to top the UN World Tourism list of significant tourist destinations.”

“All of these great achievements for Saudi tourism would not have been possible without proper planning by those in charge of the sector in the Kingdom and the great potential it possesses in terms of diverse climates, stunning natural landmarks, and the generosity of Saudi people who are distinguished by their hospitality, raising the ceiling of ambitions for new achievements.”

STA CEO Fahd Hamidaddin said: “While temperatures in the region rise to high levels during summer, temperatures in the highlands of Saudi Arabia in the southern region decrease to the extent that we even witnessed snowfall in Al Soudah yesterday.” “Through the promotional campaign for the Saudi Summer Program 2024, we seek to highlight the uniqueness of our destinations and their climatic, natural, and cultural diversity, along with the exceptional events and activities happening during summer. “This year’s summer program includes more than 550 tourism products and 150 special offers designed in collaboration with STA’s partners, which include attractive offers from hotels, airlines offering free tickets for children in partnership with major travel, tourism, and aviation companies, and exceptional products in the Aseer Season and Jeddah Season like tax-free shopping offers and many new and exciting experiences such as private beaches for tourists and ladies’ beaches.”

“The campaign slogan “Saudi Summer is Next Door” embodies an open invitation to explore the magic of Saudi destinations and their diversity. This diversity is expressed with simple words that reflect the uniqueness of each destination, such as “Closer,” “Cooler,” “More Beautiful,” and “More Affordable.”

The private sector is a very important component of the success of tourism programs and initiatives, and the Saudi Tourism Authority is committed to empowering it by fostering demand for products and offers that align with the aspirations of tourists globally.

The launch of the Saudi Summer Program 2024 marks a period when visiting the Kingdom has become easier, smoother, and safer through measures such as the availability of the eVisa to citizens of 66 countries, a 20 percent reduction in eVisa prices, and a significant increase in the number of weekly flights from

Gulf cities to Saudi summer destinations, now totaling 1,100.

Residents of the GCC can also benefit from the GCC residents visa, which allows them multiple entries and a stay of up to 90 days in the Kingdom over a year. Moreover, the number of hotel rooms available to travelers is set to increase, with an additional 25,000 rooms expected to be added this year.

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