Austerity blamed for life expectancy stalling for first time in a century

Life expectancy has stalled for the first time in a century and has even reversed for some of the most deprived women in society. These figures come after a landmark review which shows that health inequalities are even wider than a decade ago, largely due to austerity policies.

This review by Sir Michael Marmot comes 10 years after his initial review which warned that growing inequalities would lead to worse health in England, with the same picture across the rest of the UK.

The report claims that the Government has not taken the opportunity to improve people’s lives or opportunities in the last decade. Real term cuts to income have worsened health outcomes. Lifespans are stalling and people are spending more years in poor health.

Marmot said: “Austerity has taken a significant toll on equity and health, and it is likely to continue to do so. If you ask me if that is the reason for the worsening health picture, I’d say it is highly likely that is responsible for the life expectancy flat-lining, people’s health deteriorating and the widening of health inequalities.”

Full story in The Guardian, 25 February 2020.