§ Mrs. Curtis-Thomas
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how significant he estimates working immigrants will be in remedying problems of an ageing population in the UK. 
§ Beverley Hughes
The latest (interim 2001-based) projections from the Government Actuary indicate that the proportion of the population aged over 65 is projected to increase from 16 per cent. in 2001 to 21 per cent. in 2026 and the number of dependants of pensionable age per 1,000 persons of working age is estimated to grow from 299 in 2001 to 341 in 2026.
Working immigrants help fill labour shortages in a variety of sectors and contribute to productivity and economic growth. However working immigrants are just one factor that can help mitigate the effects of an ageing population. They complement a variety other measures such as increasing labour market participation, improving productivity as well as savings policies and the provision of public services.845W