I’’ve been telling friends that 6.9m is a projection, based on what we have today and what we want to see, using assumptions of past trends and birth rates.
The logic of the projection, to me, is like that:-
1) Fertility low, aging demographics, hence will strain country’s resource
More elderly to support in the long run by each young working adults from national viewpoint. Also pressures on healthcare and elderly friendly infrastructure putting pressures on social spending.
2) Therefore, need immigrants to inject young working adults.
A friend of mine pointed out rightly that even if we give birth now, not in time to grow up, and burden the system even more cos all schooling and feeding on state resource.
3) Immigrants will support workforce and contribute to taxes
We need taxes to fund social spending for people to age comfortably too.
4) We targeted GDP growth at a modest rate
GDP target then used to estimate the workforce required to reach it, supplemented by FW and FT, assuming an overall reduced number by going high-end. Can’t be we target no growth or negative growth right…
5) From there, derived the immigration numbers and projected population
And this shocked everyone, I wonder why..
Anyway, from the above, 3 things Govt should work on in the coming years:
1. Schemes for the aged
I feel the missing link is the assurance that GDP growth to be achieved thru this immigration influx, will be used to support our old with more targeted social support schemes. These can be covered in Parliamentary debates and also policies for the next 5 years.
2. How to be more economically productive
If we don’t want so much growth in population, then we’ll hv to make it up with productivity. 6.9 can be avoided, if as a nation we become super productive with less people. Govt can also ensure we have schemes to promote that, and structure society to achieve that.
3. Infrastructural planning
If cannot avoid larger population, then Govt should give assurance that the infrastructure will be planned ahead to accomodate, and how.
So I urge everyone to stop getting hung up about 6.9. If we want Govt to listen, we have to start being worth listening to. Start by first understanding that 6.9 is not even a target! It hijacks all the discussions and ideas worthy of discussing.