The heartless squeeze & tax on low incomes create hunger & unmanageable debts certain to cause mental & physical health problems. Failed & toxic benefit system costs taxpayers billions in NHS

12 June 2018

To the Chair and Members of the Health Committee. 

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cc Jonathan Ashworth MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Health.
Frank Field MP, Work and Pensions Committee, and the Resolution Foundation. 
 
 
​Dear Dr Wollaston, 
 
The cost of poverty and debt related ill health in the National Health Service. 
 
It was good to listen to you this morning at the Resolution Foundation. I wholeheartedly agree with your comments about the need to prevent ill health. During the passage of the Welfare Reform Acts 2012 and 2016 and the Local Government Finance Act 2012, which led to the taxation of the reformed benefits with council tax, I was Chair of the Zacchaeus 2000 Trust.  We lobbied all parties for health impact assessments of all the welfare reforms before they were enacted. The DWP and the DHCLG have never undertaken a health impact assessment of the decisions they make about lowering incomes, taxing them and allowing rents to rise. That is a toxic mixture has persistently reduced the remaining income needed for food, fuel, clothes transport and other necessities. The squeeze on the remaining income creates hunger and unmanageable debts, which is certain to add to mental and physical health problems. 
 
I am now founder of Taxpayers Against Poverty which is not a charity. We work without allegiance to any political party, having our objects as a not for profit business rooted in Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, covering social and economic rights. 
 
We are profoundly concerned at the impact on health of the welfare reforms, low incomes, increasing rent and council tax and their enforcement, since April 2011. I am showing below the nine blogs which support our Health Equality Campaign. It seems likely there is a connection between a failed benefit system and the unprecedented stalling in life expectancy and the unprecedented increase in infant deaths of the babies of impoverished mothers in 2015 and 2016. 
 
The cost to the taxpayer of poverty related ill health in the NHS is many billions and needs calculating on a regular basis and publicising by your committee.  
With best wishes, 
 
Paul Nicolson
 

BLOG 1 Dr Angela Donkin - Incomes are too low for children to live a healthy life from birth to death

BLOG 2 Carl Walker - The people’s money management skills are good; the State creates problem debts for vulnerable individuals and families, which are linked to the most profound anxiety, anger and suicide.

BLOG 3 Richard Wilkinson & Kate Pickett - Being on wrong end of inequality leads to more depression, mental illness, addiction and imprisonment 

BLOG 4 Dr Angela Donkin - Billions lost in productivity, taxes, welfare payments & extra costs in NHS. Work across Government to improve well-being and reduce costs – otherwise everybody loses.

BLOG 5 Carl Walker - Upturn in suicides due to recession not reversed now unemployment levels have fallen - Largest fall in real wages for 50 years – increase in mental health problems.

BLOG 6 Richard Wilkinson & Kate Pickett - Government enacts policies that make child poverty worse & demonises parents. We tolerate overblown salaries and tax avoidance and shocking childhood deprivation in the UK

BLOG 7 Dr Angela Donkin - Allowing the UK to sleepwalk into a proliferation of insecure work is short sighted, damages health and costs the taxpayer.

BLOG 8 Carl Walker - Studies beginning to highlight a burden of human suffering follows austerity Carl Walker TAP health equality

BLOG 9  Maddy Power , Kate Pickett & Richard Wilkinson -  Food Bank Britain. In austerity politics the state drops responsibility for preventing hunger. 

 

from the Reverend Paul Nicolson

Taxpayers Against Poverty
A VOICE FOR THE COMPASSIONATE MAJORITY
No citizen without an affordable home and an 
adequate income in work or unemployment. 
 

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MONTHLY CONTRIBUTION - THANKS

 


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