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Today’s joke comes from Dr. Vasant Bunwaree, Minister of Education and Human Resources. An article in today’s News Now, quotes him as saying:

We must remember that recent research shows that the brain is at its peak performance between the age of 55 and 65.

So our beloved Prime Minister who turns 54 on 14 July is just about to enter his prime? Well, Dr Bunwaree, I don’t know where you get your information from, but a quick search of Google suggests you are wrong by about 30 years! Here is what the BBC has to say:

Mental powers start to dwindle at 27 after peaking at 22, marking the start of old age, US research suggests. Professor Timothy Salthouse of the University of Virginia found reasoning, spatial visualisation and speed of thought all decline in our late 20s.

Unfortunately you have to pay to read the research article that the BBC refers to, but we found the abstract.

So we ask the question: why do we let people in the most stupid age group run our lives for us? Dr Bunwaree says he is concerned about our quality of life when we retire. Really? He will be dead! Why is it in his interests to do something about it? Surely we are the ones who should be most concerned?

There is good reason to be concerned. The cost of health care is constantly increasing, but the number of workers contributing taxes is expected to shrink dramatically. The same News Now article predicts that by 2029, the worker to pensioner ratio will have declined from the current value of 6.3 to 2.9. This would not be a problem if the government was saving some of the tax revenue now to pay for the pensions and health care costs of today’s workers when they retire. Is it doing that?

Absolutely not! Mauritius has a public debt of nearly 60% of GDP. This means that a significant proportion of tax revenue being used to meet interest payments on this debt. As revenues decline, what do you think gets priority when it comes to expenditure: interest payments or social services? Today’s politicians are eating, drinking and making merry before they die. Who do you think will have to pay their bill? Now you know why people are protesting in Greece.

Skeletons in the closet?