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Social inequality costing lives daily.

More than 200,000 people in the UK are dying prematurely because of social inequalities according to Sir Michael Marmot, who is about to become president of the World Medical Association.

He warns in a new book--The Health Gap--that a stark "social gradient" is emerging in Britain.

He says the poor not only die on average seven years sooner than the rich, they can expect to become disabled 17 years earlier.

The middle classes in the country had life expectancies of eight years less than the very richest.

However, it was in the field of education where Marmot said the research clearly showed how unfair life was becoming.

"If everybody had the same mortality of those with a university education, then [each year] we could prevent 202,000 premature deaths."

Since 1980, the share of total income received by the top one per cent of Britain has almost doubled, to about 13 per cent in 2011, reversing a three-decade-long trend towards greater equality.

Meanwhile social policy research charity, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, has found at least 8.1 million parents and children living on incomes below what is needed to cover a minimum household budget, up more than a third since 2009.

Marmot criticised the "austerity agenda" of politicians, especially cuts to public health budgets and the government's plans to raise the pension age beyond 66 and link it to life expectancy.

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Publication:The Lamp
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Nov 1, 2015
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