Half of today’s children will live until the age of 103, meaning people will have to work for longer to support themselves, a major inquiry has concluded.
The rapidly-rising older population will have to learn to get by without relying on the help of young taxpayers, according to the report.
The House of Lords study – Ready for Ageing? – reveals the number of people over 85 will more than double between 2010 and 2030. And one expert told the inquiry that any baby born after 2007 has a one in two chance of living past 100.
A leading scientist has also previously predicted that the first person to see their 150th birthday has already been born.
But the number of people with three or more long-term health conditions will rise by 50 per cent between 2008 and 2018.
The report, by the House of Lords committee on public service and demographic change, said: ‘Professor Sarah Harper of the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing told us that if we use cohort life expectancy for the 2007-birth cohort, you can say that 50 per cent of that cohort will still be alive by the time they are 103.
‘The population is ageing rapidly, but we have concluded that the Government and our society are woefully unprepared.
'Longer lives can be a great benefit, but there has been a collective failure to address the implications and without urgent action this great boon could turn into a series of miserable crises.’
Based on Whitehall figures, the report said nearly 11million people would need financial support when they retire.
It added: ‘It would be naïve to think that this can simply come from taxpayer-funded sources.
‘It does not seem fair to expect today’s younger taxpayers – especially those not born to better-off parents – to pay more for the increased costs of an older society while asset-rich older people and their children are protected.’
The report called on the Government to publish a White Paper on reforms to pensions and health care for the elderly, and for all parties to make proposals on dealing with the rising population of the elderly in their next manifestos.
Lord Filkin said: ‘The amazing gift of longer life is to be welcomed, but our society and politicians need to address the implications, and the changes needed to attitudes, policies and services so people are best able to benefit from it.
‘Health and social care need to be radically reformed; both are failing older people now.’
Michelle Mitchell, of Age UK, said: ‘This is groundbreaking.
'It’s the first time a group of senior policymakers has shown it grasps the scale and nature of change needed across our society in response to the gift of longer lives.
‘The report lays down an urgent challenge to which we must urgently respond.’
Baroness Greengross of the International Longevity Centre-UK said: ‘Our society is in denial of the inevitability of ageing.
‘We have put off the difficult decisions for far too long.’
Aubrey De Grey, biomedical gerontologist and chief scientist of a foundation dedicated to longevity research, even went so far as to say that the first person to live for 1,000 years will be born in the next 20 years.
He said that within his own lifetime doctors will have all the tools they need to 'cure' ageing.
Dr De Grey said: 'I'd say we have a 50/50 chance of bringing ageing under what I'd call a decisive level of medical control within the next 25 years or so.
'And what I mean by decisive is the same sort of medical control that we have over most infectious diseases today.'
Article from Mail online