Figures recently released by the government* show a shocking variation of life expectancy within our borough. The residents of poorer wards like Waddon, New Addington, Broad Green and, my home ward, Selhurst are likely to die 6 years earlier than those in affluent wards to the South of the borough.
These remarkable disparities persist despite years of initiatives by successive governments supposedly aimed at the urban disadvantaged.
Educational opportunity is rightly seen as a way out of poverty, yet the evidence is that it has been the richer social groups who have taken advantage of the expansion in educational facilities since the 1980s**; hardly surprising as so much in education, for young and old alike has been effectively privatised and sold as a market commodity.
More than almost any developed country those born poor in the UK stay poor.***
Labour and Conservative governments have created a society in which those that ‘have’ live longer - and those that haven’t don’t.
When will our elected leaders adopt ‘joined up thinking’ policies that have knock on positive effects on other social problems? Areas with pockets of poverty and deprivation are synonymous with those with crime. Take people out of poverty and you can reduce crime as well as increase life expectancy.
Croydon Green Party
* From your article last week.
** Research published by the Department for Work and Pensions indicates educational achievement is a huge factor in helping those in poor backgrounds escape poverty in later life.
***London School of Economics have found that the expansion of higher education since the 1980’s, a key requisite for improving ones propensity to earn a greater income, have so far disproportionately benefited those from more affluent families. The poorest 20 per cent of society barely obtained more degrees, whereas the wealthiest 20 per cent more than doubled the number of degrees they obtained. Family income during childhood is linked with educational outcomes and this in turn affects social mobility. The findings placed the UK bottom of a social mobility league alongside the US
Tags croydon, greenparty, life expectancy