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Future Demand For Public Services, Driven By An Aging Population, Will Cost The Canadian Government An Additional $93 Billion(1) By 2025, According To New Accenture Report

Canadians are evenly split in terms of their confidence (49 percent confident/47 percent not) that their government will be able to deliver public services that meet people's needs and expectations over the next five years. That confidence decreases with age as 56 percent of people under 35 years old are confident that government can deliver compared to 44 percent of those aged 35 or older.

Navigating the Shifts Delivering Public Service for the Future is part of an on-going series of research studies Accenture is developing to analyze key issues and trends that affect global governments. The Accenture report provides examples and practical advice for governments to enhance public-sector productivity by embracing four major structural shifts from:

  • Standardized services to personalized services—tailoring public services to the specific needs of each citizen to drive better outcomes at sustainable costs.
  • Reactive to insight driven—using information and technology to identify and solve problems.
  • Public management to public entrepreneurship—leveraging the scale and assets of government for maximum impact in the economy.
  • Piecemeal efficiency to whole-of-government mission productivity—taking actions across all government agencies/ministries to eliminate duplication and rethink how public services are designed and delivered to improve efficiency.

Learn more about Accenture's work with governments Delivering Public Service for the Future.                                                                                                         

Methodology The Oxford Economics modeling framework considered the long-term impacts of economic and demographic changes on the future demand for public services in 10 countries:  Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States. A demand- driven projection of public-service delivery expenditure is produced using demographic projections from the United Nations, anticipated price inflation for healthcare goods and services, combined with the impact that the rising wealth of a nation has on government expenditure.

Public-service delivery expenditure is total public-sector expenditure conducted at the national and sub-national level -- after the deduction of debt interest payments and unemployment-related payments. It is the amount of funding available to deliver public- sector services defined by the  Classification of the functions of government, (COFOG), which was developed (in its current version) in 1999 by the  Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development and published by the  United Nations Statistical Division as a standard classifying the purposes of government activities.

The expenditure gap is calculated by comparing the demand-driven projection with the current trajectory for public-service delivery expenditure. The current trajectory is based on existing public-sector delivery models operating within existing and planned austerity measures, and a more sustainable growth path for government expenditure given projected country-level demographic, GDP, jobs and revenue growth. The trajectory assumes that government economic policy moves towards delivering a more sustainable budget deficit over the longer-term by reducing the deficit to a level that stabilizes debt compared to GDP by 2025.

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