Friday news roundup August 31, 2018
The social care needs of people over 85 in the UK are predicted to double over the next 20 years, according to a new study in the Lancet. An estimated 446,000 people over the age of 85 will have “high dependency” care needs by 2035, up from 233,000 in 2015, and equivalent to 10% of all men and 20% of all women aged 85 and over. The study calls for health and social care services to adapt to an older population with complex care needs, and warns that unpaid care delivered by adult children is unlikely to keep up with demand and should not be relied upon by governments.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker announced a plan to halt daylight saving time across the EU. Over 80% of 4.6 million respondents to an online survey supported abolishing changing the clocks in summer and winter, according to reports. Supporters of daylight saving argue that the longer daylight hours in summer help to save energy and boost productivity. Opponents argue that it can be difficult for people to adapt and that the change has short-term negative impacts on people’s health. The European Commission will need to agree on the measure and put forward a draft law on abolishing daylight saving time. The EU Parliament and the bloc’s member states would also then need to approve the measure.
Russian President Vladimir Putin softened his proposed pension reforms. In a television address, Putin said the new retirement age for women would now be raised to 60 from 55, instead of 63, as previously proposed. Men will still have to work until they are 65. The president acknowledged the original offer was “wrong” and said it would penalize the female workforce who were the “backbone of the entire home.” Women who have worked for at least 37 years and men who have worked for 42 years will also be eligible for early retirement. There will also be new protections for older workers to prevent them being refused a job because of their age. Like many countries, Russia faces an aging population and the president has warned the pension system, relied upon by families in rural areas and small towns, “would crack and eventually collapse” if it was not reformed.
Chancellor Angela Merkel says that Germany is keen to provide more legal pathways for migration to Nigerian citizens. During a joint press conference with President Muhammadu Buhari in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, Chancellor Merkel also said she wanted to increase the number of Nigerians studying in Germany and pledged to do more to share Germany’s expertise in technical and vocational training with the West African nation. Chancellor Merkel and President Buhari agree that human trafficking and illegal migration can only be tackled if economic opportunities are provided for young people. There are currently an estimated 30,000 Nigerians living illegally in Germany.