Recent years saw 334,327 excess deaths in the UK due to the government’s reduction in public services and benefits following the implementation of austerity policies, a new study has revealed.
The survey, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, found that the excess deaths occurred in Britain between 2012 and 2019 ahead of the COVID pandemic in the country.
The authors of the study suggested that their findings reflect an increase in people dying prematurely after experiencing reduced income, ill-health, poor nutrition and housing, as well as social isolation.
The paper concluded that there was a “clear and urgent need” for such policies to be reversed and that new strategies should be hammered out to protect the most vulnerable in UK society.
Professor Gerry McCartney from the University of Glasgow, one of the co-authors of the study, told The Guardian that as the British government “debates current and future economic direction, it needs to understand, and learn from the devastating effects that cuts to social security and vital services have had on the health of the population across the whole of the UK.”He was echoed by his colleague Ruth Dundas, another study co-author, who argued that the survey shows that “in the UK a great many more deaths are likely to have been caused by UK government economic policy than by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The study comes after British Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng announced an emergency tax-cutting mini-budget to tackle the country’s cost of living crisis. The decision provoked an uproar from Tory MPs and was followed by market turmoil and the pound soaring to all-time law against the dollar.
Inflation rates in the UK earlier reached a 40-year high at 9 percent, which was driven by record prices for gasoline and diesel, as well as the soaring cost of food, clothing, and furniture in the country. UK government ministers previously warned that the “severe sanctions” Western countries in late February slapped on Russia over its special military operation in Ukraine would have a knock-on effect on the cost of living in Britain.
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