The Guardian reported yesterday that:
British adults’ life expectancy has been cut by six months in the biggest reduction in official longevity forecasts.
The Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, which calculates life expectancy on behalf of the UK pension industry, declined to speculate on why longevity is deteriorating for men and women in England and Wales. Some analysts, however, blame austerity and cuts in NHS spending, others point to worsening obesity, dementia and diabetes.
They may not speculate. I will. Danny Dorling Has suggested that:
On Thursday 16th November 2017 the Journal BMJ Open published an article which concluded that severe public spending cuts in the UK had contributed to causing 120,000 additional premature deaths between 2010 and 2017. The article was put together by ten researchers who worked at Kings College, UCL and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine; at the Medical sciences division in Oxford, at the University of Cambridge and in the Philippines.
We had known for some time that austerity was bringing deaths forward, but not that the rate of death associated with the cuts was rising so rapidly. The large majority of deaths associated with austerity had taken place in 2015, 2016 and 2017. Only a third had occurred between 2012 and 2014 and almost none in 2010 or 2011 when austerity was just beginning.
Is some, and maybe a large part, of that fall in life expectancy due to austerity then? I very strongly suggest that it is.
And much of the rest may be down to the lifestyle promoted by neoliberalism, with excessive consumption of inappropriate foods at the heart of that.
My conclusion: neoliberalism kills.