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Once again older people in Australia are being targetted by our political figures. Last week the public servant responsible for the next tax reform was forecasting tax increases to pay for the cost of our ageing population. There are other calls on the tax dollar but targetting these doesn’t seem to be half as much fun.

My impression is that  Australia has the highest per capita rate of obesity in the world, but it gets little more than a passing mention. The cost of this in the future will be huge- the increased cost associated with increasing diabetes for example will be able to be shafted over to the aged health care bill. (Both of our major seniors/older people organisations accept members from age 50 after which diabetes tends to manifest itself). Heart attacks follow a similar pattern. Any tax increases could be reduced if we seriously tackled the twin problems of poor diet and lack of exercise in the general community but elder bashing seems to be more fun. My thesis has shown that it is much better if older people are involved in a productive exercise such as work or an intensive hobby, the latter probably unleashing untapped talents. This is beneficial both for older people and for the country but the idea gets no government support from its ‘young’ officials who have no concept of ageing.

I’m trying to push for an award for the employer who employs the most older people and has an older worker friendly environment which I suspect will leave many government departments red-faced. Meanwhile, let’s get back to elder bashing- it’s much more comfortable and easier as they rarely fight back.