Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Thatcher's policies condemned for causing 'unjust premature death'

Date:
February 12, 2014
Source:
University of Liverpool
Summary:
A public health expert has published a study analyzing the impacts of Margaret Thatcher's government policies on the health of Britain.

Dr Alex Scott-Samuel and colleagues from the Universities of Durham, West of Scotland, Glasgow and Edinburgh, sourced data from over 70 existing research papers, which concludes that as a result of unnecessary unemployment, welfare cuts and damaging housing policies, the former prime minister's legacy "includes the unnecessary and unjust premature death of many British citizens, together with a substantial and continuing burden of suffering and loss of well-being."

Related Articles


Speaking about the figures, Dr Scott-Samuel said: "Towards the end of the 1980s we were seeing around 500 excess deaths each year from chronic liver disease and cirrhosis. We also know that there were 2,500 excess deaths per year as a result of unemployment caused by Thatcher's policies. And these premature deaths represent just the tip of an immense iceberg of sickness and suffering resulting from Thatcherism."

The article also cites evidence including the increase in income inequality under Thatcher -- the richest 0.01% of society had 28 times the mean national average income in 1978 but 70 times the average in 1990, and the rise in UK poverty rates from 6.7% in 1975 to 12% in 1985.

It argues that "Thatcher's governments wilfully engineered an economic catastrophe across large parts of Britain" by dismantling traditional industries such as coal and steel in order to undermine the power of working class organisations, such as unions.

This ultimately fed through into growing regional disparities in health standards and life expectancy, as well as greatly increased inequalities between the richest and poorest in society.

The researchers use figures from bodies such as the Office for National Statistics and the World Health Organisation, which show high levels of alcohol and drug-related mortality and a rise in deaths from violence and suicide, as evidence of health problems caused by rising inequality during the Thatcher years.

Whilst the NHS was relatively untouched by Thatcher's policies, the authors point to policy changes in healthcare such as outsourcing hospital cleaners, which removed "a friendly, reassuring presence" from hospital wards, led to increases in hospital acquired infections, and laid the ground for further privatisation under the future Labour and Coalition governments.

Dr Scott-Samuel said: "The policies of successive Thatcher governments are at the heart of the attacks on the NHS, the welfare state and local authority services by the coalition government. It is clear that Thatcher's wholesale changes to the British economy created massive regional and social inequalities which are continuing to have a direct impact on people's health at the present time."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Liverpool. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Liverpool. "Thatcher's policies condemned for causing 'unjust premature death'." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 February 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140212082408.htm>.
University of Liverpool. (2014, February 12). Thatcher's policies condemned for causing 'unjust premature death'. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140212082408.htm
University of Liverpool. "Thatcher's policies condemned for causing 'unjust premature death'." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140212082408.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Science & Society News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) Border closures, quarantines and crop losses in West African nations battling the Ebola virus could lead to as many as one million people going hungry, UN food agencies said on Wednesday. Duration: 00:52 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Los Angeles Police To Receive 7,000 Body Cameras

Los Angeles Police To Receive 7,000 Body Cameras

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the cameras will be distributed starting Jan. 1. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ivory Trade Boom Swamps Law Efforts

Ivory Trade Boom Swamps Law Efforts

Reuters - Business Video Online (Dec. 17, 2014) Demand for ivory has claimed the lives of tens of thousands of African elephants and now a conservation report says the illegal trade is overwhelming efforts to enforce the law. Amy Pollock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Indictments in West Virginia Chemical Spill Case

Indictments in West Virginia Chemical Spill Case

AP (Dec. 17, 2014) A grand jury indicted four former executives of Freedom Industries, the company at the center of the Jan. 9, 2014 chemical spill in Charleston, West Virginia. The spill contaminated the Elk River and the water supply of 300,000 people. (Dec. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins