WHEN POVERTY KILLS

THE RICH­EST PEO­PLE CAN CUR­RENTLY EX­PECT TO LIVE EIGHT YEARS LONGER THAN THE POOR­EST

Nuneaton Telegraph - - NEWS - By ALICE CACHIA

THE MOST de­prived girls and boys born in Eng­land and Wales to­day will die an aver­age of eight years be­fore the rich­est.

The fig­ures, re­leased by the Of­fice for Na­tional Sta­tis­tics, give a stark il­lus­tra­tion of how poverty can lit­er­ally cut a life short.

De­pri­va­tion is mea­sured by look­ing at fac­tors like in­come and em­ploy­ment, but also ed­u­ca­tion, crime lev­els, hous­ing and the lo­cal en­vi­ron­ment. Boys born in the most de­prived 10 per cent of places in Eng­land and Wales have a life ex­pectancy of around 74. For boys born in the most af­flu­ent 10 per cent of places, that fig­ure rises to around 83. The gap for girls is slightly nar­rower and girls live sig­nif­i­cantly longer than boys at ev­ery point on the de­pri­va­tion scale. Girls born in the most de­prived 10 per cent of places live to around 78-79, while those in the rich­est 10 per cent of places live to around 86.

The data shows that poverty doesn’t just af­fect how long you can ex­pect to live, but also how long you can ex­pect to live dis­abil­ity-free and in good health.

For ex­am­ple, the most de­prived boys will live just 70 per cent of their lives free of dis­abil­ity - a fig­ure that rises to 82 per cent for those liv­ing in the most af­flu­ent areas.

David Leese, pol­icy anal­y­sis man­ager at the Joseph Rown­tree Foun­da­tion, said the life ex­pectancy gap caused by poverty was “sim­ply un­ac­cept­able” in modern Bri­tain.

He said: “In our so­ci­ety, we be­lieve in jus­tice and com­pas­sion, help­ing and pro­tect­ing each other from harm.

“Ev­ery­one should have the same op­por­tu­nity to en­joy a healthy and se­cure life - re­gard­less of their in­come or where they’re from. These fig­ures should act as wake up call: we need ac­tion to loosen poverty’s grip on the health of our na­tion.”

A spokesper­son for the Depart­ment for Health and So­cial Care said: “Health in­equal­ity is a chal­leng­ing and com­plex area and is driven by a va­ri­ety of fac­tors but we are work­ing hard to tackle the root causes. “Since 2010 in­come in­equal­ity has fallen, more children have work­ing par­ents and fewer children are liv­ing in poverty. “We are also in­vest­ing more than £16 bil­lion in lo­cal gov­ern­ment pub­lic health ser­vices, pro­vid­ing free NHS vac­ci­na­tion and screen­ing pro­grammes and have set up a £2.5 bil­lion fund to help dis­ad­van­taged pupils.”

The liv­ing en­vi­ron­ment, em­ploy­ment and an area’s in­come all im­pact on de­pri­va­tion lev­els

De­pri­va­tion is also mea­sured by look­ing at sec­tors such as ed­u­ca­tion

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