Thinking of the future of ‘Future Care’

Limey in Bermuda has picked up on the PLP’s intentions to fund their "Future care" health care improvements for seniors plan by creating a new tax.    How would the scheme work?  What about the future?  Who’s going to pay for it?

Under their scheme, working Bermudians will have to contribute to a health style pension plan where a portion of your income is siphoned to create a fund to cover the health care of seniors.  While it’s hard to argue against better care of seniors, extra taxation is less than ideal.  What will be offered by Future Care, what will it cost and how much tax will have to be collected?

Then there are the problems such as how age demographics will impact the fund itself.  According to the Department of Statistics’ Population Projections 2000-2030, the proportion of seniors (65 years and older) will double from 11% in 2000 to 22% by 2030.  When discussing old age dependency it suggests:

Prolonged life of the elderly equates to increased responsibility for the Bermudian working population in general and their children in particular. A shrinking Bermudian workforce and aging population, also means a smaller tax base for government revenue at a time when the number of pension payments will increase.

If we’re already facing potential problems with regards to the pension pool, what problems will we face with a health style pension plan?  Does the doubling of old age dependency and the decreasing workforce suggest that this plan will be doomed to create spiralling tax costs as it struggles to match the growing senior population against the shrinking workforce?

Thinking beyond this year, how will we continue to pay for this program especially in the face of the poor general health of a large number of Bermudians?  Indeed, we are sadly one of the fattest peoples on the planet at very high risk for disorders such as diabetes.  How do we cope with the potential costs?

It also opens up the questions of the lack of preventative medicine which may bring this whole system to it’s knees by the time the current mass of Bermudians with poor nutritional habits hit old age.  Why is preventative medicine still so low on the priority list?

While it’s easy to "let the youth pay for it", there is only so much that the youth shall be able to bear.  In reality, should taxation spiral out of control it may well come to pass that more of our talented and most capable youth will pick up and leave for greener pastures (especially considering the high cost of home ownership) leaving even smaller tax revenues for our elder generations.

Sadly this scheme isn’t convincing in it’s present state.  While the intentions are honourable, it raises far too many unanswered questions that must be asked and subsequently entered with well thought out planning.  Unfortunately a "Whatever it costs we will do it" attitude won’t cut it because as Sir Issac Newton once suggested, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

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One thought on “Thinking of the future of ‘Future Care’

  1. The PLP Platform looks as though it was written by a 9th grader – and yet, interestingly it reveals much more than their proposals , for surely it is a reflection of how unorganized they have proven themselves.
    They appear very good at creating fires, then ‘TRYING’ to put them out. If I started a fire, and rushed to dose it, they would lock me up as a firebug.
    Then again, maybe they have a grand scheme and the last thing they want is intelligent people like you doing a meaningful comparison with the UBP…
    Canada, and Europe are actively looking to increase their respective populations for the very reason you describe, that by 2030 22% of our population will be retired – so where are the young people to take up the slack coming from?
    China is facing a similar problem, but they have a government that has and likely will once again simply thin out the older members of their society when necessary.
    In my 57 years, I have never witnessed a general election that has reached the depths of human cruelty and deprivation and yet, I am hopeful that our people are not stupid and will wholly reject the group who chose fear, nasty, unkind and spiteful methodology to sway all of us to somehow see through the fog of hate and divisiveness they perpetrate, that they deserve another term.
    They have sewn seeds of unrest, segregation, and insecurity, and I pray to God that those seeds rot in the fertile ground and never germinate!
    Only two days of torture left – let the people speak and then we must all accept the majority view.

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