12/6/2017 2:16:46 PM
|written By : Team India Se|
Singapore will have as many senior citizens as children for the first time in 2018.
Singapore’s share of the population that’s 65 years and older will match those younger than 15 for the first time in 2018, reports Bloomberg, quoting a report by Francis Tan, an economist at United Overseas Bank Ltd. in Singapore.
The “demographic time bomb” may mean changes to taxes, immigration rules, and social services, according to Tan.
At this rate, he says, seniors in Singapore’s population will make up more than double the share of the youngest residents in 2030. Tan uses a compounded annual growth rate rather than adjusting for potential policy changes or alteration of trends such as fertility rates, notes Bloomberg.
Singapore already has the oldest population in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, it adds.
Singapore’s ageing population threatens economic growth, notes Tan.
One way to increase the labour supply would be to ease immigration restrictions, he adds.
Singapore’s ageing population helps explain why Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has said tax increases are not a matter of if, but when, says Bloomberg.
Tan sees the government increasing the GST next year to 8 per cent from 7 per cent, with an equal boost in 2019.
But he is hopeful the government has time to make changes that will mitigate the negative effects of ageing.
“There is still a sizable percentage of working-age population supporting the economy. That said, one will have to understand that this cannot last forever,” Tan wrote in his report.
(Table from Singapore Department of Statistics report)