Research undertaken by Development Economics for the Commissioner for Older People in Northern Ireland has revealed the extent of the financial and non-financial contributions made by older people to Northern Ireland society.
Apart from taxes paid on income and expenditure, older people in Northern Ireland were shown to make a number of remarkable yet largely unacknowledged contributions, including:
- Volunteering in their communities, worth on average over £1 billion per annum
- Unpaid social care contributions worth nearly £2 billion per year
- Substantial additional contributions in the form of childcare and, in some cases, replacement parenting, altogether currently worth around £250 million each year.
In addition, older people in Northern Ireland are making significant financial contributions towards younger people, examples including contributions towards the costs of higher education, help towards a deposit on a first home or help towards the cost of a first car. Altogether, these financial transfers by older people within families are estimated to amount to around £300 million every year.