More than 2 000 deaths due to Tory cuts in Scotland ignored by media

On the 20th October, peer-reviewed research in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health was clear:

[F]ewer people would have died, life expectancy would have been substantially higher and health inequalities narrower, had the tax and benefit ‘reforms’ introduced since 2010/2011 (and planned until 2021/2022) not been implemented. Reversing the UK tax and welfare reforms since 2010/2011 and ensuring that the population have the incomes they require to live healthy and fulfilling lives should now be a public policy priority for the UK as we build back better from COVID-19.

The authors estimate 2 054 additional deaths due to UK austerity cuts imposed in Scotland despite the efforts of the Scottish Government to mitigate against reforms such as the ‘Bedroom Tax’, the Council Tax Benefit and Social Fund.

The report seems to have been ignored wholesale by Scotland’s mainstream media, other than the Herald.

However, reporting three weeks after the publication of the research, the Herald modifies the language used in the original report to soften the findings and introduce doubt over the certainty of the UK Government’s responsibility.

In the headline and sub-heading, peer-reviewed research findings, facts, revealed by public health professionals, authenticated by other researchers, showing austerity cuts to have been ‘responsible’ for higher mortality rates, are reduced to the notion of being ‘linked to’ or of an unsubstantiated ‘blaming.’

Where the authors say life expectancy ‘would’ have been reduced by one-third, the Herald changes that to ‘may be responsible or ‘could explain.’

Where the authors state that fewer people ‘would have’ died and life expectancy ‘would have been’ substantially higher, the Herald changes those words to ‘may be responsible’ or ‘were linked’ to the additional deaths.

Whether these are calculated modifications to suit the agenda of a corporate newspaper or semi-conscious tendencies to chose that language, I cannot be sure but the effect is clear.

The tendency everywhere else to just not report the research at all, is revealing.

6 thoughts on “More than 2 000 deaths due to Tory cuts in Scotland ignored by media

  1. The ABC& MSM have so obviously taken their cue from Boris
    F**k the truth
    F** facts
    F**k science
    F**k buisness
    F**k Europe
    F**k Ireland
    F**k Scotland
    F**k Indy.ref.2
    F**k The Law
    F**k me the list is too long and Boris so F**king lazy
    F**k it ALL

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I think you are right in your suggestion that it is a wilful action to change the impact of the language used in the report.

    When parts of other reports indicate culpability on the part of the SG or NHS Scotland, or a Health Board or a Council, then the media heighten the language, make connections which the report does not makeand select parts out of context.

    I am surprised the Herod even reported it at all, because even with the anodyne language there is the possibility of an inference,criticalof the Tories that can be drawn.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. 120,000 in the South died prematurely. The ConDem Tories cut Welfare £16Billion, £30Billion from Education, £20Billion from NHS. From 2015 to 2020. Elected to support NHS and Education they cut funding. £13Billion+ a year. Tax cuts. Tax evasion for the wealthiest. Despite UK raising £666Billion on average in tax revenues.

    Cameron, Clegg and their associates tax evading.

    Universal credit IDS cut £100 a month. The Tories have now had to pay £20 more a week, until April, but needed longer. After spending £Billions on bureaucracy. A total waste of monies. More Tory wasters.

    The Scottish Gov has to mitigate all the cuts. Westminster illegally wasting Scottish resources and revenues. £3Billion tax evasion. £1Billion more on the Military. £4Billion loan repayments on revenues not borrowed or spent in Scotland. Scotland can’t borrow £5Billion to invest in the economy. Pay for itself in growth. Etc, etc. £13Billion+.

    More than the UK cuts. Totally misappropriate.


  4. Scotland pays on average £15Billion on (UK) pensions/welfare. From tax revenues raised in Scotland. Pays for all (UK) pensions/benefits in Scotland. + More mitigated in Scotland, from Scottish taxes and revenues. From Scottish resources. Funds raised in Scotland. Council tax etc. From the £66Billion+ in tax revenues raised in Scotland.


  5. A decent journalist might have looked here.

    “An estimated 31,100 excess winter deaths occurred in England and Wales in 2012/13 – a 29% increase compared with the previous winter

    As in previous years, there were more excess winter deaths in females than in males in 2012/13

    Between 2011/12 and 2012/13 male excess winter deaths increased from 10,590 to 13,100, and female deaths from 13,610 to 18,000

    The majority of deaths occurred among those aged 75 and over; there were 25,600 excess winter deaths in this age group in 2012/13 compared with 5,500 in people aged under 75

    The excess winter mortality index was highest in the North West in 2012/13 and lowest in London. London had the highest level of excess winter mortality in 2011/12”

    Or here

    We already know one part of the solution.

    The other part is to get a Scottish government committed, not to mitigation of the problem but to effective redistribution and a political system to accommodate that.

    Growth Commission Report anyone?

    Liked by 1 person

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