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


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


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 


Note to readers: please click the share buttons above. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

Featured image is from TP

Articles by: True Publica

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). The Centre for Research on Globalization will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article. The Centre of Research on Globalization grants permission to cross-post Global Research articles on community internet sites as long the source and copyright are acknowledged together with a hyperlink to the original Global Research article. For publication of Global Research articles in print or other forms including commercial internet sites, contact: [email protected] contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of "fair use" in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than "fair use" you must request permission from the copyright owner.

For media inquiries: [email protected]