CW Holt Advisory says decade of austerity measures in the UK has widened the gap between rich and poor.
Life Expectancy Stalls
Over the last ten years in the UK, life expectancy has stalled in the poorest 10 percent of the population. Analysts at CW Holt Advisory say a decade of austerity is to blame for life expectancy declining for the first time in 100 years.
After the financial crisis of 2009 the British government attempted to correct the many years of budget deficit by heralding in an age of austerity. In 2009 David Cameron, leader of the Conservative Party, stated that the age of irresponsibility had come to and committed himself and his government to end excessive spending. In 2010 the austerity program was implemented. The goals of this program were to be achieved through sizable tax increases and significant cuts in public spending.
UK Deficit Shrinks, CW Holt Advisory
By the first quarter of 2018, the UK deficit was lower than it had been since 2007 and by the end of 2018 it was lower than it had been since 2002. But CW Holt Advisory analysts say this success of the age of austerity has come at a heavy cost to the UK.
A report by a professor at University College London, Michael Marmot revealed that the seven year gap in life expectancy between the affluent and poor in the UK had increased to nine years. The divide between the rich and poor areas had also widened significantly to nearly five years.
Austerity Depresses Growth
Rather than stimulate growth, a decade of austerity has depressed it. The UK’s economic recovery has been the slowest in history with average wages only recently reaching the highs seen more than a decade ago.
Although former Prime Minister Theresa May stated that the age of austerity is now over, analysts at CW Holt Advisory believes this may not be the case. Britain’s departure from the European Union could depress the UK’s economic growth for many years which could continue to place undue pressure on government’s budget considerations.