Scottish seniors not dead yet; “free” health care costs soaring

by the Night Writer

From an article in The Scotsman:

THE cost of Scotland’s flagship free elderly care policy will soar more than threefold to £813 million a year by 2031, a new report has revealed.

A dramatic growth in the number of pensioners over the next three decades will send costs, put at £256 million in 2006, spiralling, Lord Sutherland’s report shows. And the author warns that Scotland must wake up to the huge impact the country’s rapidly changing age profile will have on public finances and services.

Free personal and nursing care was introduced to a fanfare in 2002. It has been hailed as one of the biggest achievements of Scotland’s devolved government, and is the envy of many south of the Border. But the independent review, commissioned by the Scottish Government last summer, reveals the price that such a popular policy will have in years to come.

The report says the bill will far exceed initial predictions – costing hundreds of millions of pounds more – due to the number of elderly people rising more rapidly than was expected.

Lord Sutherland insists the policy, which has attracted widespread political and public support, will be “affordable” in years to come.

The number of over-65s is expected to rise from 837,000 in 2006 to 1.36 million by 2031.

Read the whole thing. Note, however, that no mention is made that it is likely that the number of taxpayers available will also be decreasing as these costs are increasing.

Update:

Katherine Kersten has just visited Scotland and wrote today on some of her impressions of the Nanny State.

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