Tory Austerity Policies Caused ‘Social Murder’ in the UK. Research Paper

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In the Mirror newspaper, an academic has raised an uncomfortable point – that such a high degree of social stress has been unleashed on the poor through Tory austerity policies where preventable death can be directly attributed. At TruePublica we have published articles by our media partners and contributors about this escalating crisis. The author of this research concludes that austerity – a Tory ideology, not an economic model is nothing else other than ‘social murder.’

The academic paper claims that Tory austerity has caused “social murder.” The damning Victorian-era phrase has been revived to describe years of benefit cuts, the benefit cap and ‘fit-for-work’ tests under the government since 2010. Demanding “fundamental change” in welfare policy, its author argues “violence” has been inflicted on the poor to “enrich a small elite”. The 21-page article appears in the journal Critical Social Policy and was written by Dr Chris Grover, head of the sociology department at Lancaster University.”

  • Research claims there were an extra six suicides for every 10,000 work capability assessments, known as ‘fit-for-work’ tests
  • Increasing numbers of people dying of malnutrition; and increasing numbers of homeless people are dying on the streets or in hostels
  • The state is both the protector of working-class people from harm and the facilitator of social murder.
  • Citing a rise in benefit sanctions and increased poverty, Dr Grover wrote: “Social security ‘austerity’ can be understood as structural violence.

The author of the report is Christopher Geoffrey Grover, Senior Lecturer, University of Lancaster

Abstract

This article examines social security policy for working age people in Britain in the ‘age of austerity’. Drawing upon critical approaches to understanding social policy and violence, the article argues that severe cuts to benefits and the ratcheting up of conditionality for, and the sanctioning of, benefit recipients can be understood as ‘violent proletarianisation’ – using socio-economic inequality and injustice to force the commodification of labour power, and a consequential creation of diswelfares that are known and avoidable. The article suggests that violent proletarianisation is a contradictory process, one that helps constitute the working class, but in a way that socially murders some of its reserve army members.

Link to Grover’s research report 

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