Letter to Editor: Austerity is deadly and it is a political choice

Dear Editor,

IF one of the numerous potholes in Harlow’s roads that are unfilled because of austerity causes you to have an accident, then you may find yourself experiencing an unprecedented wait in Accident & Emergency, because of austerity. You will be treated in a hospital underfunded because of austerity by staff overworked and underpaid because of austerity.

On the way to the hospital you may pass a school underfunded because of austerity, in which there may be pupils whose parents visit the local foodbank because of austerity. You may also catch a glimpse of the tallest building in Harlow, Terminus House, in which families from London have been forced to live in sub-standard overcrowded accommodation because of the “social cleansing” caused by austerity.

Austerity is deadly. A study published in the online journal BMJ Open in 2017 estimated that cuts in public expenditure led to around 120,000 excess deaths between 2010 and 2017.

Women living in the most deprived areas of the UK are now expected to live for 78.7 years, versus 86.2 years in the least deprived, a whole 7.5 years less. Furthermore, the average life expectancy for women in the UK, at 83.1 years, is one of the lowest among comparable countries, more than three years behind Spain. (The Health Foundation).

Between 2014 and 2016, men from the most-deprived tenth of areas in England were expected to live almost 19 fewer years in good health than people from the least-deprived tenth of areas. This disparity in health outcomes is strongly correlated with the conditions in which people live. (The Health Foundation).

Between 2010-12 and 2014-16, 72 local authorities had a fall in male life expectancy and 87 had a fall for females. (Public Health England, December 2018).

There was a statistically significant reduction in life expectancy at birth of almost 100 days among females living in the most deprived areas of England between 2012-2014 and 2015-2017, in contrast to an increase of 84 days in the richest areas. (Office for National Statistics 27 March 2019)

Austerity was a political choice. There is no reason why Britain cannot have the levels of public services seen in countries such as Sweden, Germany, or France.

The people of Harlow need an immediate end to austerity. We need the renewal of our crumbling infrastructure. We desperately need the reversal of a decade of Conservative cuts in government spending on health, education, and social security.

There is only one party standing in Harlow in this election that is committed to ending austerity and beginning the reconstruction of our damaged society: the Labour Party. For the sake of our town, for the sake of our society, we need to replace Conservative Robert Halfon with Labour’s Laura McAlpine as the Member of Parliament for Harlow.

Yours sincerely

John Wake

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11 Responses to "Letter to Editor: Austerity is deadly and it is a political choice"

  1. kthe5   December 6, 2019 at 2:55 pm

    Austerity == services reduced or cancelled. They are cut in order to produce a budget surplus.
    Back in 2018, the then chancellor Phillip Hammond admited this was the “hard way”.
    http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/committeeevidence.svc/evidencedocument/treasury-committee/budget-2018/oral/92275.html
    Q204 – “We have to get debt down as a percentage of GDP, and there is a very hard way of doing it, which is running a budget surplus every year and paying off the cash debt. There is a much easier way of doing it, which is get the economy growing faster with higher trend productivity growth, so that the denominator increases. That is the smart way to shrink our debt as a proportion of our GDP: grow the GDP, strong real wage growth, rising living standards.”

    So why did the Conservatives choose “the very hard way” to reduce debt?

  2. MickyB77   December 6, 2019 at 4:23 pm

    If Bliar, Brown, Darling, and the rest of the spendthrifts in the Marxist group, had been a little more prudent, “austerity” wouldn’t have been so draconian.
    I won’t mention the several billions in Gold that Brown, got a losing deal on.
    To-days rates would return more than £15 billion.
    Socialism wants to drag us all into perdition.
    People should take note, that whenever the Reds get into the Treasury we’re
    always taken to the brink of bankruptcy.

  3. kthe5   December 6, 2019 at 6:19 pm

    Mickey, if you can blame events that happened 20 years ago, and continue to ignore the actions of succsessive Conservative governements, then I will blame the lack of pot hole repair on the Suez Crisis. Afterall, Conservative Prime Minister Anthony Eden’s hosting a dinner for King Feisal II of Iraq, and the advice given then, directly affected the funding of ECC and their ability to fix the pot holes on the M11 roundabout. The events must be related because it was a Conservative government then.
    You mention “the Reds” – if you mean the Russians then it is the Conservative Party that you should be worried about:
    https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/dark-money-investigations/revealed-russian-donors-have-stepped-tory-funding/
    “The Conservatives have received significant recent cash injections from a number of Russian donors and their associates, an openDemocracy investigation has discovered.”

  4. MickyB77   December 7, 2019 at 6:36 am

    You’re losing the plot,kt.
    Tories were blackmailed into some difficult decisions by one, Nick Clegg.
    Where do you get 20 years from?
    Donors to the party are fine, all above board, and, legal. Check out Corbynski’s
    relationships and contributions from his friends in “Jezzbollah”, Hamas, PLO and the name-less groups.

  5. kthe5   December 7, 2019 at 2:12 pm

    “Where do you get 20 years from?”
    Maths. 2019 – 1999 == 20.
    “Corbynski’s relationships” – Distraction argument. I’ll just mention that Boris Johnson wanted “to cash in” on selling arms to Saudi Arabia enabling them to commit numerous war crimes in Yemen.

    Back on topic: Two thirds of economists say Coalition austerity harmed the economy
    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/two-thirds-of-economists-say-coalition-austerity-harmed-the-economy-10149410.html
    That was in 2015. The Conservatives continued with this policy as a choice.

  6. tony edwards   December 7, 2019 at 2:31 pm

    Fact
    In 2010 the UK had the lowest national debt as a proportion of GDP in the G7 – this was admitted by George Osbourne to a Treasury Select Committee see link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BK-h4aiuGIs

    Fact
    The 2008 global economic crisis was not caused by the Labour. It was a Banking Crisis with it’s origin in the American sub prime mortgage market. It affected countries all over the world whose governments were of different political persuasions – both left and right.

    Fact
    Different Governments responded in different ways.
    Austerity was a political choice – not an economic necessity

    Fact
    We have seen the misery of austerity, Bedroom Tax, Reduction in Disability Benefits, Universal Credit and the five week wait, reduction in Police Numbers, Closure of Harlow’s Magistrates and County Courts, Reduction in Youth Services, under-funding of Schools, Growth of In Work and Child Poverty, Rise in the number of Rough Sleepers, Rise in numbers who are homeless and temporary accommodation, rise in crime, drop in numbers of prosecutions etc, etc,

    Fact
    Robert Halfon voted for all of the Austerity measures

    ENOUGH IS ENOUGH

    IT IS TIME FOR A CHANGE

    VOTE LABOUR ON THURSDAY DECEMBER 12TH

  7. MickyB77   December 8, 2019 at 7:03 am

    How desperate are the Marxists to contradict anything from their little book of dodgy facts.
    Only the public can win this election by voting for Boris and his gang, and ignoring the racist group that now dictate on behalf of Labour.
    Where’s L Mac / Ms A……. ?
    Promoted by a Momentum group of thugs and unfit to debate anything, even her shopping list.
    Look what Robert H has done for Harlow in the time he’s been here, he’s a man who quietly gets things done. Without doubt he really is the only option for Harlow.

  8. Gary   December 8, 2019 at 8:03 am

    Tell me MickyB77 what has Robert Halfon done for this town?

  9. MickyB77   December 8, 2019 at 2:40 pm

    You really should get out more Gary.
    The latest incomer deal for Harlow , is ,
    PUBLIC HEALTH ENGLAND.
    Only about £600 million of investment, thanks to Robert’s determined efforts and cajoling in Westminster.
    Hospitals, employers and industry have begun moving here, why ?
    Because R H is a true humanitarian, and cares deeply for the electorate.

  10. Gary   December 8, 2019 at 5:14 pm

    £600 million? BS comes in many flavours.

  11. MickyB77   December 9, 2019 at 11:18 am

    Don’t be foul because you haven’t any answers to truth.
    Marxists like you, and a few others who subscribe too, cannot bear the fact that the Tories are keeping promises made to R H.
    I wouldn’t wish to belong to any group that supports views as spouted by you,or
    any of your “mates”.
    Why do you think that the massive developments around the Pinnacles and Harlow are being developed on a massive scale, and who was responsible for them ?

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