Socialist Worker

Mortality report shows inequality from the cradle to the grave

Issue No. 2094

New Labour has a well deserved reputation for “burying bad news”. During budget week earlier this month the government released its report into health inequalities in Britain since 1997. Its damning verdict was that life expectancy and child mortality for poorer people has got worse since Labour came to power.

Babies born to poor families today have a 17 percent higher than average chance of dying, compared to 13 percent a decade ago. The life expectancy gap between men living in the poorest areas and the average male is now 2 percent wider.

One of New Labour’s constant ideological mantras is that class is no longer the central divide and that everyone has the opportunity to shine in today’s Britain. This report is a reminder that social class remains the key, not just to how people live – but also to how they die.

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What We Think
Tue 25 Mar 2008, 18:57 GMT
Issue No. 2094
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