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 October 25, 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 October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Microsoft Riding High On Strong Surface, Cloud Performance

Microsoft Riding High On Strong Surface, Cloud Performance

Newsy (Oct. 24, 2014) Microsoft's Q3 earnings showed its tablets and cloud services are really hitting their stride. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
EU Gets Climate Deal, UK PM Gets Knock

EU Gets Climate Deal, UK PM Gets Knock

Reuters - Business Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) EU leaders achieve a show of unity by striking a compromise deal on carbon emissions. But David Cameron's bid to push back EU budget contributions gets a slap in the face as the European Commission demands an extra 2bn euros. David Pollard reports. Video provided by Reuters
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