Talking About Brexit with Andrew Stuttaford

“So far as the original founders are concerned, the journey [of European integration] continues. The problem is it is not what most British people thought they were signing up for.” ____Andrew Stuttaford.

Screen Shot 2016-06-19 at 6.15.53 AMAndrew Stuttaford is a British-born contributing editor at National Review and a frequent writer on British and European topics. In recent months, he has been an advocate of ‘Brexit’, the United Kingdom leaving the European Union. A few days before the June 23rd referendum, Stuttaford explains the factors that made him increasingly wary of further European integration. Read more

England and Wales: Where are all the Babies?

SIMON ROGERS writes in the GUARDIAN:

The latest census release may be restating the figures we mapped back in July, but it includes one difference – the population of each local authority in England and Wales by single year of age. Which means we can look at where all the babies aged under one were in 2011, and where the big increases have been since the population estimates ten years earlier in 2001. It shows big increases across the two countries, except for 22 local authorities where the numbers of babies went down. And the biggest increases? London, the Midlands and the North. There’s lots of nuances in the data – what can you tell us about it? Click on a local authority to see the data – and use the dropdown menu.  SEE INTERACTIVE MAP.

UK: Ageing population ‘is leading to crisis in end-of-life care’

STEPHEN ADAMS writes in the UK’s TELEGRAPH:

Britain faces a growing crisis in its ability to care for people dying of cancer, dementia and other long-term diseases, doctors are warning.

More hospices, care homes and other end-of-life facilities are needed to help cope with increasing numbers dying ‘gradual’ deaths, say specialists worried that supply is not keeping pace with demand.

Better health care, and to some extent a fitter older population, means less are experiencing ‘sudden’ deaths, for example from heart attacks.

But while increased longevity is to be welcomed, doctors say not enough resources are being devoted to making the last days of the elderly as comfortable as possible.

Writing in the publication, British Medical Journal Supportive and Palliative Care, doctors warn that gradual deaths from cancer and other chronic disease are already “a considerable burden” for European countries, including Britain. READ MORE.

Half the British population think immigration ‘is bad for the economy’

STEVE DOUGHTY writes in the DAILY MAIL ONLINE:

Half the British population think immigration ‘is bad for the economy’ as public support for welfare state falls to record low.

  • 62% believe benefits are too high & discourage work
  • Shift in attitudes on welfare recipients over 20 years
  • Low-paid workers have more immigration resentment

Public support for the welfare state has fallen to record lows, according to a Government-sponsored research report.

The popularity of the taxpayer-supported safety net for the unemployed and the sick has plunged amid growing fears that millions are cheating the benefit system, it found.

Nearly two thirds of the population, 62 per cent, think unemployment benefits are too high and discourage work, the British Social Attitudes survey said. READ MORE.

England and Wales: Population Grew 7% in the Past Decade

LIZZY DAVIES writes in the Guardian that the population of England and Wales grew by 3.7 million people in the decade to 2011. This represents total growth of 7%, or 0.69% per year. Davies notes that “one of the most striking aspects of the census is the rise in the number of over-65s, who now make up one in six of the population of England and Wales.” She also writes that “the median age in England and Wales was 39 [in 2011] – compared with 25 in 1911”.

(The Wall Street Journal notes in a separate article by Marcin Sobczyk that much of the UK’s population growth can be attributed to new immigrants from Poland: “Poland’s own national census, published earlier this year, showed the country bleeding its permanent residents. Nearly two million Poles resided permanently outside their country in 2011, and departures over the past decade reduced Poland’s population to 36.6 million in 2011 from 37.4 million in 2002… Nearly a third of Polish emigrants lived in the U.K., the Polish census showed. Britain was much more popular for Polish expatriates than Poland’s neighbor Germany, the destination for about a fifth of Polish emigrants.”)

Lizzy Davies’ Guardian article begins here:

The population of England and Wales has grown by 3.7 million over the last decade, the biggest increase documented since census-taking began in 1801, according to new figures.

The first tranche of findings from the 2011 census illustrate how longer life expectancy, migration and higher fertility rates have caused the number of residents to boom. The figures show that the population of England and Wales on 27 March 2011 was 56.1 million compared with 52.4 million in 2001, the year of the last census. The population of northern Ireland, according to results also released today, was 1.8 million.

Although the official Scottish results will not be released until later this year, Glen Watson, director of the 2011 Census, said that, based on an estimate from earlier this year, the new figures would take the UK’s total population to 63.1 million. READ MORE.

Europe: Aging Population Undermines Longer-Maturity Bonds

ANCHALEE WORRACHATE writes in Bloomberg News and highlights the adverse rise of the dependency ratio undermining European debt reduction efforts:

The euro-region’s ability to grow its way out of the debt crisis faces a roadblock — an aging population.

While Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti and his Spanish and French counterparts push for measures to spur an economic expansion, Italy’s structural dependency ratio exceeds 50 percent. In other words, the number of working-age people is less than half the total population. The government forecasts the ratio will reach 63 percent in 2030 and 83 percent by 2065.

Aging and shrinking labor pools are adding to budget woes in the region where the unemployment rate is already at a record high. The risk is that without an overhaul of benefit programs, governments will be unable to balance their books as tax revenues shrink and unfunded pension and health-care liabilities balloon. Longer-maturity bonds in Spain, Portugal and Greece are underperforming their shorter-dated counterparts amid concern the nations’ finances will keep deteriorating.

“You just can’t create growth out of thin air and the demographic trend in the euro zone isn’t conducive to growth,” said Humayun Shahryar, who helps oversee $100 million as chief executive officer at Auvest Capital Management Ltd. in Nicosia, Cyprus. “For a long time, the economic expansion in the region was fueled by low borrowing costs that came with the monetary union. That’s no longer the case and the shrinking working-age population is a problem.” READ MORE.

Guardian: Global Summit to Reverse Years of Family Planning Neglect

EWEN MACASKILL WRITES IN THE GUARDIAN that a summit is to be held in London on July 11, aimed at providing access to family planning to 120 million women in developing countries at an estimated cost of $4bn. The summit is organized by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the British government’s department for international development (DFID). Between 20 and 25 countries are scheduled to attend, including the US, India, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Tanzania.

Article starts here:

World leaders to meet in London in July to pour cash into family planning in the developing world

A major summit is being planned for July that aims to pour money into family planning in the developing world after almost two decades of neglect, particularly during the Bush years.

Parallel to this, millions of dollars are being spent by the Gates Foundation on developing more efficient forms of contraception, particularly injections that might only be required once every six months or annually.

The executive director of the UN Population Fund, Babatunde Osotimehin, in an interview with the Guardian, described proposals at the summit to turn family planning into a global movement as “transformational”.

Family planning can be political minefield, a taboo subject that attracts opposition from an array of opponents including American social conservatives and the Catholic church. There is widespread resistance, too, within many Muslim countries.

Family planning has also been tainted by its association with ‘population control’ – the discredited attempts by various countries to reduce their populations through coercion. READ MORE.

Scotland: 2011 Population Increase Largest in 50 Years

According to a report released today by the General Register Office for Scotland, Scotland’s population rose by 32,700 to 5,254,800 in the year ended in June 2011. A Scottish government spokeswoman said: “This year’s net population increase is the highest we have seen for more than 50 years and demonstrates that our hard work to grow Scotland’s population to support economic growth is paying off.”

Access the General Register Office’s News Release and Full Report.