Local government funding cuts in recent years have cost lives, according to a study

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A new study by researchers at the University of Liverpool shows that declining local government funding in recent years probably contributed to the decline in life expectancy in some areas of England, which was even halted. before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Local i in England, a longitudinal ecological study published in The Lancet Public Health, related the annual local government funding data from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to Public Health England’s life expectancy and mortality data between 2013 and 2017.

The corresponding author, Dr. Alexandros Alexiou says that “since 2010 large reductions in the funding of local government services have been introduced in England, which led to a reduction in the provision of public services that promote health. We wanted to investigate whether areas with a Larger decline funding also had more adverse trends in life expectancy and premature mortality.

“Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the stagnation of life expectancy in England was a major public health concern and the causes were unclear.

“Our research shows that cuts to local government in recent years have probably cost lives. We found that during a period of large reductions in funding for local government in England, the areas that experienced the biggest cuts also they experienced slower improvements or a decline in life As funding for the most disadvantaged areas declined to a greater extent, they experienced the most adverse impact: the widening of health inequalities ”.

“This has important implications for current policy and for the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

On average, between 2013 and 2017, central funding for local governments decreased by 33% or £ 168 per person in total. Each £ 100 reduction in funding per person was associated with a 1.3 month decrease in male life expectancy and 1.2 months in female life expectancy.

As funding cuts were greater in the most disadvantaged areas, these sites were most affected, which widened the life expectancy gap between these sites and the more affluent areas. The researchers estimated that funding cuts widened the life expectancy gap between the most and least disadvantaged areas by 3% for men and 4% for women. Overall funding cuts during this period were associated with an additional 4,600 deaths in people under 75 years of age.

Dr. Alexiou added that his “study suggests that the reduction in funding for local services that disproportionately affect disadvantaged areas have had a significant impact on . The UK government has declared that austerity is over and has pledged to invest more to “level up” those places that had previously been “left behind”. Equitable and equitable investment in local government services can address these inequalities, allowing the country to “rebuild better”.


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More information:
Alexandros Alexiou et al, Local government funding and life expectancy in England: a longitudinal ecological study, The Lancet Public Health (2021). DOI: 10.1016 / S2468-2667 (21) 00110-9

Citation: Local government funding cuts in recent years cost lives, according to a study (2021, July 13), recovered on July 13, 2021 at https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-07-local -funding-years.html

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