In 1975, there were not 1.79 million British people living in EU member countries. There they enjoy rights to work, own property and access public services without having to renounce or change their status as UK Nationals. (House of Commons 2016, pg. 24)
In 1975, Britain’s financial services sector was smaller and less international. Now, the picture is significantly different. It is the world’s single most internationally focused financial marketplace. (IMAS 2015) As of 31 March 2014, the financial services sector generated 11.5% of the nation’s total tax receipts (£65.5 billion). This figure includes the £30 billion paid in employment taxes by the 1.1 million people who work in the sector. The tax base was made more stable, thanks to shifts in policy that moved taxation away from profitability (which tends to be more volatile) towards more constant dimensions, like the bank levy on bank assets and employment tax. (City of London 2014).
In 1975, there were more children relative to the total population than now. Now, the proportion of children in the UK population has fallen from over a quarter in 1974 to less than a fifth in 2004, and is expected to continue to decline. Plus, since 1975, there has been a steady rise in the number of people living far longer, over 90. Falling birth rates and an increasing elderly population make for very particular economic and policy challenges.
Just think about it: With fewer young people growing up in Britain, the aging population will find itself dependent on a shrinking workforce. That means fewer paying into pensions and fewer people available to provide essential care. I wonder what will happen to my generation (age 50) if migration is curbed, and my one daughter emigrates in order to regain her EU rights and opportunities? Who will look after me through decades of old age?