Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Austerity kills

The British government has been slashing social services budgets, throwing the disabled off benefits, cutting health funding and cutting meals on wheels to the elderly, all in a mad pursuit of austerity. And its had the expected results: once-falling death rates are now rising, as the poor are starved to death or humiliated into suicide:

Government cuts to social services could be the “largest factor” in the biggest annual rise in deaths in England and Wales for nearly half a century, according to an adviser to Public Health England.

The new preliminary figures, from the Office for National Statistics, claim that mortality rates last year rose by 5.4 per cent compared with 2014 – equivalent to almost 27,000 extra deaths. The increase is the highest since 1968 and took the total number of deaths in 2015 to 528,340.

Death rates in England and Wales have been steadily falling since the 1970s but this trend has been reversed since 2011.

This of course was an obvious outcome of the cuts, but the Tories went ahead and did it anyway. There's a name for knowingly pursuing a course of action which will kill people: its called "murder". And it sounds like the Chancellor of the Exchequer should be charged with 27,000 counts of it.