Skip to main content

Austerity kills people

The stark reality of a decade of austerity is laid bare, and the truth told.  Austerity kills people.  For the first time since the beginning of the 20th century, the improvements in life expectancy have ground to a halt.

This is the conclusion of the latest Health Review of England, published by the Institute of Health Equality.

Let's not beat about the bush.  This is politics.  It is the result of a decade of the most brutal right-wing Tory rule in the United Kingdom - and it is set to continue.   The needs of Brexit means that for all the promises made by Boris Johnson in the general election, austerity is set to continue.

The poorest are being made to pay, not just for the cost of the financial crisis, but also now for Brexit.

"From the beginning of the 20th century, England experienced continuous improvements in life expectancy but from 2011 these improvements slowed dramatically, almost grinding to a halt."
 Of course, it is difficult to demonstrate the direct causal link between austerity and the changes in population health.  But it is difficult to conclude other than that it has been the major factor.  Austerity has increased poverty for many and has put our health and social care system into crises.  This cannot be without impact.  Or, as the report states:

"austerity has adversely affected the social determinants that impact on health in the short, medium and long term."

The saddest aspect of all is that this will be carried through with great cost to the lives of our children.   First the coalition government and then under the Tories alone, this damage has been done, and it need not have been if the warnings of the Marmot report had been acted on.

Savage cuts - 70% since 2009/10 -  to central funding of local authorities have affected their ability to provide services vital for the nation's health.  This has had the greatest impact on the poorest areas.

Austerity kills people. It is a waste of lives and it is unsound economics.  An unhealthy population is an unproductive one and increases the burdens on overstretched health and social services.








Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Ian Duncan-Smith says he wants to make those on benefits 'better people'!

By any account, the government's austerity strategy is utilitarian. It justifies its approach by the presumed potential ends. It's objective is to cut the deficit, but it has also adopted another objective which is specifically targeted. It seeks to drive people off benefits and 'back to work'.  The two together are toxic to the poorest in society. Those least able to cope are the most affected by the cuts in benefits and the loss of services. It is the coupling of these two strategic aims that make their policies ethically questionable. For, by combining the two, slashing the value of benefits to make budget savings while also changing the benefits system, the highest burden falls on a specific group, those dependent on benefits. For the greater good of the majority, a minority group, those on benefits, are being sacrificed; sacrificed on the altar of austerity. And they are being sacrificed in part so that others may be spared. Utilitarian ethics considers the ba

His way or none? Why I can't vote for Jeremy

There is an assumption that all would be well with the Labour Party if people hadn't expressed their genuine concern with what they consider the inadequacies of Jeremy Corbyn's leadership. If only, it is said, the Parliamentary Labour Party and his Shadow Cabinet had supported him, instead of undermining him, all would have been fine. If they had been quiet and towed the line, then the party would not have been in the mess it is in. So, should they have stayed silent, or speak of their concerns? There comes a point when the cost of staying silent outweighs the cost of speaking out. This is a judgment. Many call it a coup by the PLP. They paint a picture of a right-wing PLP out of touch with the membership.  This is the narrative of the Corbyn camp. But Jeremy Corbyn, over the decades he has been in politics, showed the way.  It was Jeremy Corbyn who opposed almost all Labour leaders and rarely held back from speaking out, or voting time and again against the party line. As

Mr Duncan-Smith offers a disingenuous and divisive comparison

Some time ago, actually it was a long time ago when I was in my early teens, someone close to me bought a table. It was an early flat pack variety. It came with a top and four legs. He followed the instructions to the letter screwing the legs into the top. But when he had completed it the table wobbled. One leg he explained was shorter than the other three; so he sawed a bit from each of the other legs. The table wobbled. One leg, he explained, was longer than the other three. So, he sawed a bit off. The table wobbled. He went on cutting the legs, but the table continued to wobble. Cut, cut, cut! By this time he had convinced himself there was no alternative to it.  He ended up with a very low table indeed, supported by four very stumpy legs and a bit of cardboard placed under one of them to stop it wobbling on the uneven floor.  Mr Duncan-Smith argues that we need a 1% cap on benefits to be 'fair to average earners'. Average  earners have seen their incomes rise by less tha