Laura Sharman 30 April 2015

Study warns of life expectancy time bomb

Study warns of life expectancy time bomb image

People will live longer than official estimates suggest, leading to a future funding gap in health and social care provision, a new study is warning.

Researchers at Imperial College London found life expectancy in England and Wales is likely to increase from 79.5 years in 2012 to 85.7 years in 2030 for men. Women are expected to live to 87.6 years in 2030, compared to 83.3 in 2012.

The study also predicted that regional inequality in life expectancy will increase, highlighting a need to help deprived districts catch up with affluent areas.

Professor Majid Ezzati, who led the study, said: “The bigger gains in life expectancy we predict will mean pensions will have larger payouts, and health and social services will have to serve an older population than currently planned.

‘We also forecast rising inequalities, with bigger increases in lifespan for people in affluent areas than those in disadvantaged areas. This means wealthy people will benefit more from health and social services than poor people, and therefore should be prepared to pay its costs through higher taxes.’

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