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A truly shocking new academic paper shows there is a clear link between rising old-age mortality rates in England and George Osborne’s austerity measures.

The study published by the Royal Society of Medicine concludes:

“Rising mortality rates among pensioners aged 85 and over were linked to reductions in spending on income support …”

and that:

“… austerity measures in England have affected vulnerable old-age adults”.

To be fair, Osborne probably needed to take the money off someone to pay for his massive tax cuts for the wealthy.

Not to mention MPs’ pay rises …

.

Here’s the abstract of the paper:

Objective: There has been significant concern that austerity measures have negatively impacted health in the UK. We examined whether budgetary reductions in pension credit and social care have been associated with recent rises in mortality rates among pensioners aged 85 and over.

Setting: 324 lower tier local authorities in England

Design: Cross-local authority longitudinal study

Main outcome measure: Annual percentage changes in mortality rates among pensioners aged 85 years or over.

Results: Between 2007 and 2013, each 1% decline in pension credit spending (support for low income pensioners) per beneficiary was associated with an increase of 0.68% in old age mortality (95% CI: 0.41 to 0.95). Each reduction in the number of beneficiaries per 1000 pensioners was associated with an increase of 0.20% (95% CI: 0.15 to 0.24). Each 1% decline in social care spending was associated with a significant rise in old-age mortality (0.08%, 95% CI: 0.0006 to 0.12), but not after adjusting for pension credit spending. Similar patterns were seen in both men and women. Weaker associations observed for those aged 75 to 84, and none among those 65 to 74. Categories of service expenditure not expected to affect old age mortality, such as transportation, showed no association.

Conclusions: Rising mortality rates among pensioners aged 85 and over were linked to reductions in spending on income support for poor pensioners and social care. Findings suggest austerity measures in England have affected vulnerable old-age adults.