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Chartered accountants call for long-term policy making

In the wake of the Australian government's 2015 Intergenerational Report, Chartered Accountants ANZ has called for a focus on long-term policy making.

The purpose of the report is to provide a forecast of what Australia might look like in 40 years' time, allowing tax agents and other financial professions to plan for potential future changes.

One of the main changes detailed in the summary is a major growth in the size and composition of Australia's population. In 2054, the at-birth life expectancy for Australians is expected to be 95.1 years for men and 96.6 for women. 

Also included in the study is the prediction that the number of people aged 65 and over is set to double compared to today's standards. 

This has huge implications for business owners and employees. As the proportion of elderly and retired citizens increases, pressure could be put on the rest of the workforce to sustain and support them.

The report indicates that the total amount of citizens aged over 100 years old could reach as high as 40,000 by this time, as healthcare practices develop.

Chartered Accountants ANZ CEO Lee White believes the messages in the report need to influence future policy decisions.

"As the government continues to face a growing list of priorities, it can no longer rely on short term policy making. We need long term, well thought through plans.," said Mr White.

Workforce concerns are of chief concern for these policies, with Mr White also suggesting that these statistics should promote discussion surrounding a number of issues, such as the participation of women in the workplace and how superannuation services and tax reforms can encourage prosperity. 

Head of Tax Australia Michael Croker also agreed that the report should be used to plan for the future.

"However, tax reform is not just about maintaining the tax base: it provides an opportunity to consider new ways to achieve desirable economic goals such as enhanced labour force participation and industry productivity," said Mr Croker.