The UK government’s economic policies are “likely” to have caused a “great many more deaths” than the Covid pandemic, an academic has claimed.
Researchers said their “not only shocking but shameful” statistics showed that almost 335,000 more deaths than expected were recorded across Scotland, England and Wales over an eight-year period. Experts at Glasgow University and the Glasgow Centre for Population Health (GCPH) had looked at data on deaths in the three countries over the period 2012 to 2019.
Commenting on the findings, Ruth Dundas, a professor of social epidemiology at the University of Glasgow and one of the authors of the report, said: “This study shows that in the UK a great many more deaths are likely to have been caused by UK government economic policy than by the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Her comments came as the report said there was now a “clear and urgent need … for such harmful policies to be reversed”, with the authors urging the government to “implement measures to protect the most vulnerable in society”. The study, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, noted there were 334,327 excess deaths over the expected number in England, Wales and Scotland over the period.
This included 237,855 excess deaths amongst males in England and Wales, with a further 12,735 excess deaths recorded amongst men in Scotland. Amongst women there were 77,173 excess deaths in England and Wales, as well as 6,564 in Scotland. The research was carried out amid “a stalling of improvement overall” in mortality rates, with increasing death rates among the poorest having been observed across the UK since the early 2010s. Statistical analysis showed previously improving mortality trends had changed around the period 2011 to 2013 in both Scotland and England – with this occurring following the election of the Conservatives into Number 10 in 2010.