Tough austerity measures are leading to people dying at a younger age in Sheffield, a shock report has revealed.
Greg Fell, director of public health for Sheffield, highlighted in his report 'Adding life to years and years to life' how the real cost of financial cuts is resulting in people's lives being cut shorter. The document showed that there has been "very little improvement" in women's life expectancy over the last 15 years. The picture is worse for Sheffield’s men as there has been an actual decrease in average life expectancy from 78.8 years in 2012-2014 to 78.7 years for the most recent period of 2013-2015.
Councillor Adam Hurst, West Ecclesfield, raised this issue at the Council’s October meeting saying, “We have known for some time that austerity, the programme of government cuts since 2010, is almost certainly robbing us of life. Consistently rising life expectancy should be something we all take for granted – and yet the UK is the only major country in the world to have seen such a dramatic stalling of life expectancy, and the quality of this life, over the last seven years.
“There is nothing inevitable about life expectancy having to stop improving - rather this is direct result of policies enacted by the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats since 2010.
“In Sheffield we will try to do everything we can to stem this tide and this is why I am pleased that our Labour council is updating the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment, to take a much more in-depth look at how as a council we can improve health and wellbeing in the city”
It is now well established that the country is in the midst of crisis in Adult Social Care but it should also be noted leading charities, religious groups and public figures contend that austerity is also bringing about a crisis in care for children, and young families, which is just as dangerous.
This is something Councillor Dawn Dale, Shiregreen and Brightside, knows all about. Councillor Dale is a former Sure Start worker and she continues to work closely with families in communities. Councillor Dale highlights some of the measures underway by Sheffield’s Labour council to help children and young adults but that, due to austerity and severe government cuts, many children and young adults are still suffering in the city.
Councillor Dale: “We know that the current government, and the Coalition before them, are badly letting down our children. Under Labour this council will always do everything we can to fight government cuts and make sure that our spending goes as far as possible.
“A key target of this council is to build on our early years prevention work – making sure we are proactively providing the support that so many depend on. We are having great success in this but we can’t hide the fact that national policies and funding cuts are really hurting us”