The Australian Catholic Social Justice Council’s Briefing for August is now up on the website. The Briefing covers issues of Catholic social teaching in August 2016, highlighting resources, media items and diary events. It can be read here.
In this month’s briefing, the ACSJC Secretariat, John Ferguson, explores the soon to be released 2016-17 Social Justice Statement’s focus on the issue of an ageing population:
…Our nation has had more than enough time to prepare for a significant increase in the number of older Australians. In this sense, we should not be shocked by the statistics of an ageing demographic. The cohort of ‘baby boomers’ approaching retirement age has been on the radar since the 80s and advances in medicine and technology have greatly increased the health and vitality of older generations.
Policies such as compulsory superannuation, the expansion of community and residential aged care, the promotion of ‘active ageing’ and work beyond retirement are just some indications of a society planning for the future. Of course, such initiatives need always to ensure that the more vulnerable members of the community are also beneficiaries and not allowed to fall through the system.
Older unemployed workers, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples experiencing the huge gap in wealth and longevity compared to non-Indigenous people, women with low-income and negligible retirement savings, older people who are homeless – these are just some of the groups who will carry the burden of poverty into retirement if the nation’s policies lack the essential ingredient of distributive justice…