No treatment of the economic consequences of our population trends would be complete without some discussion of their effects on the public finances. Certain issues immediately suggest themselves, at least to the minds of those who appreciate that these imply a changed age-composition as well as an eventual decline in numbers. Will the charge for pensions make a satisfactory budget impossible? Or will this increase be offset by a reduced charge for education? And how about that more or less fixed item, the interest on the national debt? Will that become a crushing burden when there are fewer people to pay taxes?