These 130,000 deaths cannot be explicitly linked to austerity

10th Oct 2019

Claim

Austerity has caused the death of 130,000 people in Britain.

Conclusion

The report that the 130,000 figure comes from does not explicitly link this number to austerity, and there’s no way to know how much this was a factor.

A post apparently showing a quote from comedian and author Francesca Martinez claiming that 130,000 people have died due to austerity has been shared hundreds of times on Facebook. 

Martinez did say this on Question Time earlier this year.

As we wrote in June, we cannot explicitly link these deaths to austerity. The figures come from a report by the Institute for Public Policy Research which showed a declining trend in deaths linked to “preventable risk factors” between 1990 and 2012. But between 2012 and 2017, the rate of decline slowed down. Had it kept pace with the previous trend, the report estimates there would have been 130,000 fewer deaths overall since 2012. 

IPPR told us at the time that measures related to austerity were a possible reason behind the change in trend, but this was by no means the only potential factor.

There is no clear way of knowing how much austerity contributed to this slow in decline. You can read a more in-depth look at the issue in our previous post from June.