Important work at the University of Sheffield on equality shows that life expectancy for the poorest has stopped increasing and might go down in the very near future. Meanwhile the richest can expect to live much longer as the gap between rich and poor has widened massively under Tory and Labour governments in the last 30 years.
Contrary to the editorial opinion (Star 24 July) money is the key. Research by the Equality Trust shows many areas are affected negatively by bigger gaps between the rich and poor. Among them are physical health, mental health, drug abuse, education, imprisonment, obesity, social mobility, violence, teenage births, and child well-being. So it’s not surprising that a recent UNICEF Report showed that our children’s welfare is the worst in the developed world.
The work being done by Danny Dorling and the University of Sheffield team on inequality provides many of the answers on directing resources in Sheffield as we work through massive funding cuts. It will underpin many Green Party policies in the coming years, including my personal focus on maintaining and expanding nutritious, free school meals. David Cameron showed great interest in this work in opposition but Con Dem coalition cuts in public services will widen the gap between rich and poor.
If we closed massive tax loopholes exploited by the rich many of the proposed cuts would not be necessary. Tough times ahead for the poor and the vulnerable are not their fault. The blame lies firmly with governments and bankers.
Sheffield Green Party