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Prof Prem Sikka: Pandemics destroy lives, but neoliberalism is also deadly

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Prof Prem Sikka: Pandemics destroy lives, but neoliberalism is also deadly

UK News Block are increasingly framed by markets, corporate profits and tax cuts rather than concerns about humanity, compassion and caring, Prem Sikka says.

Most of Covid’s blocking restrictions have been lifted, at least for now. Sadly, the lives of many have been shattered by the loss of loved ones.

There have already been almost 153,000 officially recognized Covid-related deaths in the UK. Many more have died because their hospital treatment was postponed. The death toll is more than double the number of civilians who died during World War II.

An independent public investigation is needed to analyze the management of the pandemic in the four nations of origin. You also need to examine the News Block, economic and social policies that have resulted in high death toll.

UK News Block is increasingly framed by markets, corporate profits and tax cuts for a chosen few, rather than concerns about humanity, compassion and caring. This is due to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s reluctance to tighten Covid restrictions because ‘Covid was only killing 80 years ‘. Some 83,000 people over 80 died. Such a cruel policy will bring more deaths and misery.

Reducing investment in public services has become a neoliberal dogma. The National Health Service (NHS) has been starved of resources and in poor condition to handle the pandemic. An indication is provided by the number of beds.

When we entered the pandemic, the UK had 2.4 beds per 1,000 inhabitants, compared to 5.4 in France, 7.9 in Germany and 12.8 in Japan. In April 2020, NHS England had 118,510 beds to serve a population of 56 million, compared with 299,000 in 1988.

Due to low wages and poor working conditions 38,000 nursing positions they were empty. The NHS ‘lack of capacity is the result of deliberate government decisions, which prioritized tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy over investment in the NHS and support services.

The pandemic has shown that poverty and inequalities destroy lives. The poor, including individuals from ethnic minorities, have figured disproportionately in the Covid death toll. This includes hospital staff, home workers, transportation staff, retirees, zero-hour contract workers, and many more. Low-income people cannot afford good food, shelter, medical care, and personal space for self-isolation and are therefore more vulnerable to disease and pandemics.

Nobody is born poor. Political institutions impoverish people. In 1976, the share of workers in gross domestic product, in the form of wages and salaries, was 65.1%. At the end of 2019, it was reduced to 49.5%, a decline unmatched by any other industrialized nation. Successive governments used anti-union laws, zero-hour contracts, and austerity programs to erode wages. The median wage had stagnated in the decade before the pandemic.

As expected, 14.5 million people, including 8.1 million in working families and 4.5 million children live in poverty. Even working people depend on food banks to make ends meet. Too many people are unable to access good food, health care, and shelter and easily become victims of disease and pandemics.

Many people tested positive for Covid, but couldn’t afford to take time off from work. They also lacked a safe place to isolate themselves as they live in cramped quarters because they are poor. Government policies have weakened people’s resistance to pandemics.

During the current pandemic, nursing homes became a landfill when hospital administrators sought to free up beds. Local authorities in England are responsible for providing social care, but since 2010, grants from the central government have been awarded reduce by 38% In real terms.

This accelerated privatization and cash extraction. In privately owned nursing homes, 10.83% of revenue disappear in the service of the artificial debt. Private equity also expects a 12-14% return on its investment. So 20-25% of revenue disappears, leaving less for frontline services.

Nursing home workers have come under pressure. Of the 1.52 million workers in nursing homes, 50% are full-time employees. Almost 24% are in zero hour contracts. Almost 42% of the homecare workforce has zero-hour contracts. Staff turnover exceeds 30%. In March 2020, the average hourly wage for staff in real terms was £ 8.50 per hour.

In these circumstances, it is very difficult for caregivers to get to know patients and provide personalized care. Low-paid staff are also vulnerable because they cannot easily access good food, shelter, and medical care. They cannot easily isolate themselves or take time to recover.

The financialization of residences allowed companies to pay huge dividends. Executive payment The salary of front-line personnel has skyrocketed to more than 120 times, despite the fact that it caused death and misery. About 39,000 people have died from Covid in nursing homes. It is difficult to remember any privatization that has been accompanied by its impact on people’s lives or on the country’s ability to resist pandemics and diseases.

Pandemics destroy lives and political ideologies are also deadly. The high death toll from Covid in the UK is facilitated by neoliberal ideologies that prioritized neglect of public services, tax cuts for the few, low salaries, high corporate profits, unlimited pay for executives. and the privatization of health care.

There are no signs that such ideologies are going to change anytime soon. We have to demand that all government policies are accompanied by an analysis of their impact on people’s lives.

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