General Insurance Article - IFoA calls for a Budget for the long term

With the UK Chancellor set to announce the financial priorities in the forthcoming Budget Statement on Wednesday 6 March 2024, the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) has called for measures to meet the test for an increased focus on long-term thinking in the UK.

 The IFoA’s recent policy prospectus ‘Beyond the Next Parliament’ draws attention to the effects of short-termism and suggests an alternative approach to ensure a longer time horizon is considered in the policymaking process. It highlights various structural and behavioural barriers that prevent long-term thinking in UK policymaking. The report focusses on a range of areas including investing in social care reform, preventative health, productivity benefits from AI, renewable energy and sustainable infrastructure, and retirement savings for the specific needs of different generations.

 Kalpana Shah, IFoA President, said “The IFoA is concerned that without a strategic focus on the big picture challenges that society faces, both for this Budget and the subsequent election, the UK risks sleepwalking into another period of inaction. We understand that fire-fighting and planning for long-term resilience are not easy to do at the same time. But societal issues such as population health, social care, climate change and resource management are in urgent need of a systems thinking approach. There must be acknowledgement that driving effective solutions will go well beyond the next parliamentary term and current economic challenges. We encourage the Chancellor to kick start this process by capacity building in the Budget.

 “We hope that this budget will provide the first step in establishing a platform to address the issues that often sit in the ‘too difficult’ box. Actuaries are experts in long-term risk management across several key sectors and take a rigorous, dispassionate and meticulous approach to their work. We look forward to playing our part in helping to develop long-term solutions to these big societal challenges.”

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