Today the Office for National Statistics released the latest updates in its Social Trends series . One of the most startling statistics was that UK households in 2009 consumed two-and-a-half times the amount goods and services that they consumed in 1971. Undeniably, we live in a consumer age.
Last week the Wave 4 report of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing was launched, offering a picture of the health, wealth and wellbeing of older people aged 50+ in England. The study, which began in 2002, interviewed a total of 10,860 aged 50 and above during the course of 2008/9. Overall, the findings showed stagnation in some of the gains made in terms of wealth and levels of health witnessed earlier in the millennium.
The ILC-UK paper on the spending cuts is a valuable analysis of the main areas of public spending that impact on older people. Like many other contributions to the subject there is more about what should not be cut than what could be cut.
ILC-UK have been supported by Elizabeth Finn Care to undertake some work to analyse the potential impact of the spending review on intergenerational fairness. We are very grateful to Elizabeth Finn Care for their support.
Scottish Widows have today published their 6th annual report on women and pensions (1). The report makes an important contribution to understanding the situation facing women in the context of pensions.
The full scale of the Government’s cuts in the higher education budget was outlined in an email leaked to the BBC today . Over four billion pounds is to be slashed from the education budget – a total of £3.2 billion (79%) is to be cut from the teaching budget and £1 billion from the research budget . Such inconceivable cuts in both higher education budget areas have obviously grave consequences for the quality and sustainability of teaching, research, and even the existence of some universities.
Two of the most significant challenges facing society are of addressing climate change and meeting the challenges and opportunities of an ageing society. But whilst there is a significant amount of work which reviews some of the health implications of climate change, there remains very limited published research and thinking which links older people and climate change.
This week (11-17 October) is national community meals week organised by the National Association of Care Caterers (NACC) . National community meals week  aims to draw attention to the importance of community meals services.
Every year, in the Alpine valley of Gastein in Austria, Europe’s health policy community comes together to discuss the health challenges facing Europe and the possible solutions. The 13th “European Health Forum Gastein” (EHFG)  took place this year from 6-9 October.
The public and private sector are very different types of employers. This is demonstrated by recent attempts by both the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) and the Office for National Statistics (ONS) to get to grips with their different occupational pension systems. And it is into this muddy water that today’s report by the Independent Public Service Pensions Commission (chaired by Labour peer John Hutton on behalf of the coalition government) dives head first.