CPD Chief Executive addresses COTA Australia National Congress on opportunities from our ageing population
Australia is underestimating its productive capacity and undervaluing its total Gross Domestic Product, because it ignores the unpaid workforce and a huge chunk of health and aged care sector output, a policy expert said… Travers McLeod has joined the chorus of many aged care advocates and other economists in calling for the unpaid workforce responsible for the bulk of caring activities across the health and aged care space to be included in official Treasury domestic output calculations.
Speaking at the COTA Australia National Congress at the National Press Club, Travers said that the nation’s negative attitude towards ageing demographics stands in the way of recalculating our true productive capacity. Travers commented that the current perception of Australia’s ageing demographics as evident from recent discussions about health sustainability and Budget 2014/15, is that it is a “problem to be managed rather than an opportunity to be embraced”.
Travers said that economists expect the services sector to treble in volume in the coming decades. He told H&A, however, that “a lot of the work in services sector is not measured and that means the output produced is not measured… There is a need for economists to change the way they measure employment and capture the unpaid work that takes place”.