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Population shrinking: don’t call the midwife - call the anti-ageing clinic

Population shrinking: don’t call the midwife - call the anti-ageing clinic

According to a study by the Economic Statistics Centre of Excellence, ‘in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic’ the UK’s population ‘may have fallen by as much as 1.3 million’; labour data – ‘more reliable than migration statistics’ – ‘suggest a drop of more than half a million in the number of foreign-born residents in the year to last September’, and academic authors Michael O’Connor and Jonathan Portes attribute this fall to an ‘“unprecedented exodus” of foreign-born workers’ following the Coronavirus outbreak. While the Office for National Statistics cautioned that ‘it was “important to note that these projections are not able to take into account unusual events, for example the coronavirus pandemic’, the report maintains: ‘“Much of the burden of job losses during the pandemic has fallen on non-UK workers and has manifested itself in return migration, rather than unemployment”’.


And with ‘[f]alling and ageing populations’ posing ‘a long-term threat to the economy’s ability to grow’, in addition to the ‘threat’ of ‘Covid-19 inspired emigration’, recent research by accounting firm Price Waterhouse Coopers shows that ‘the nation also faces a “baby bust” this year’: the Covid ‘lockdown and the economic fallout of the virus on couples delaying starting a family’ is ‘likely to push the birth rate to its lowest on record’; PwC economists have ‘suggested that just 569,000 babies are likely to be born this year’ – ‘the lowest figure since 1900’ - against ‘724,000 in 2011’ (‘Population shrinks by 1.3m as foreign workers say adieu’, Telegraph, January 15, 2021).


This slump in births ‘could have serious ramifications for the economy and the Government’s finances as fewer children will ultimately mean fewer working age people to support the elderly’, and Hannah Audino of PwC commented: ‘“The key determinant will be whether births bounce back once life returns to normal and people have more job security, or whether there will be a structural change due to the scarring in the labour market, or women who have decided it is now too late for them to have kids, or if they never want to have kids in case the pandemic happens again.”’ She warned: “‘The UK has an ageing population, so if there is an accelerated decline in fertility rates, we are going to see those fiscal, health and social care challenges happen a bit sooner”’, adding: ‘“Even in five to 10 years’ time there will be challenges for schools with unevenness with numbers between year groups.”’


It seems that owing to the cost to the state of raising new workers, in recent years UK governments have found it easier to pluck them fully grown from the immigration ‘shelf’, and although we have now left the EU, we will no doubt continue to rob poor countries around the world of their skilled workers (trained at their expense of course) to make up for the ‘gaps’ in our own labour force.


At the same time, we will continue to widen that gap by eradicating a large proportion of unborn children of all backgrounds before birth, having succeeded in ‘terminating’  over nine million new lives since 1967.


But despite the appalling statistics, apparently abortion does not figure in the figures of researchers or governments, even though this year has seen them rocket, alongside the drastic drop in births.


In the absence of any official policies to counteract this catastrophic fall in births, or even an acknowledgement that it is happening, and might be problematical, the elderly will increasingly be viewed as a burden on the shrinking numbers of younger people - and the money-saving potential of ‘the right to die’ as increasingly attractive.   


In the Covid emergency, the official message is to save lives; but in the population emergency, we may well see euthanasia clinics spring up alongside birth control clinics, as the message to cut lives continues: carry on killing - don’t call the midwife, call the anti-ageing clinic.