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China’s industry is heavily dependent on migrant workers who travel thousands of miles, leaving their elderly parents behind.
Consider this brief extract from an article in the Jakarta Post: Is this the Asian example Hunt wants us to emulate?In developing countries, the extended family has long been celebrated as a model for how to care for older people within the family home.However, social and economic changes are having an impact and the extended family is breaking down.Indonesia’s National Commission for the Elderly said only 3.9% of the country’s elderly in 2006 could rely on their monthly pension fund.
The commission said this drove about 50% of elderly women to rely on their children and their partners, compared with 29% of elderly men.(In the space of just over a year, it seems, the British have gone from being the worst idlers in the world, to being hardworking, to being second-raters.) The Chancellor’s China-worship was well and truly trashed by Will Hutton yesterday so I’ll leave it for now.