Inequality literally killing field life expectancy 71 years in Tottenham & 88 years in Kensington & Chelsea a scandal


In November 2013 Professor Goran Therborn of the University of Cambridge wrote the “Killing Fields”.

“This book shows that inequality is literally a killing field, with millions of people dying premature deaths because of it. These lethal effects of inequality operate not only in the poor world, but also, and increasingly, in rich countries, as Therborn demonstrates with data ranging from the US, the UK, Finland and elsewhere. Even when they survive inequality, millions of human lives are stunted by the humiliations and degradations of inequality linked to gender, race and ethnicity, and class”.

I have tracked down the sources of Professor Goran Therborn’s 17 year gap in the expectation of life between Tottenham Green and Kensington & Chelsea. I never doubted it but thought belt and braces are needed for public debate of a national scandal.

Kensington and Chelsea – see Hans Ward at 96 years male life expectancy 2009/10

Just between 2004–6 and 2009–10, the lifespan gap between Glasgow and Kensington–Chelsea increased by more than a year ( Office of National Statistics 2011).

In the bureau’s excellent research, “Why is men’s health suffering in London”, based on FOI questions to London boroughs, shows Tottenham Green ward’s male life expectation is 71.3 years and Northumberland Park’s 71.5 years in 2010.

I live between the Tottenham Green Ward and, on the border of, the Northumberland Park ward, in a pleasant area in the top right hand corner of the photo. I am 83 and was born in Kensington & Chelsea in 1932 and I am doing fine – some way to go to 96!!

Many people born in Tottenham in 1932 will have died 12 years ago.

It’s so very, very unfair.

I live in a Church of England property that was bought for £95,000 in 1999. It will sell for around £400,000 in due course. Therefore around £300,000 will leave Tottenham for the benefit of the CofE, which is entirely in the wrong direction. Some of that growth in value should stay in Tottenham for the benefit of the tenants who own no land; 58% of households in Tottenham are tenants, 47% in London and 33% England and Wales; 2011 census.

Therborn – “Many of us would concur with the cautious conclusion of Harvard philosopher Michael Sandel: ‘Democracy does not require perfect equality, but it does require that citizens share in a common life.’

Furthermore, the Strategic Review of Health Inequalities in England post-2010 (Marmot, 2010) reported that people living in the poorest neighbourhoods in England, will, on average, die seven years earlier than those living in the richest neighbourhoods.

The Marmot Review noted that although population health has improved in England in the past 50 years, in Kensington and Chelsea, a ward in the wealthiest part of London, a man can expect to live to 88 years, while a few kilometres away in Tottenham Green, one of the capital’s poorer wards, male life expectancy is 71 years.

It concluded that such health inequalities, which stem from avoidable inequalities in society in terms of income, education, employment and neighbourhood circumstances, are not inevitable and can be significantly reduced. (ONS)

TAP adds;

1. government created personal debt,
2. land banks and
3. unaffordable housing

to Sir Michael Marmot’s list.

Professor Ted Shrecker from Durham University reports this year that “Within the small local authority of Stockton-on-Tees,the difference in male life expectancy between the most and least deprived areas is 17 years.”

Life chances are also diminished before birth by poor maternal nutrition leading to low birthweights and an increased risk of an unhealthy life. 

Will a Justice Committee of MPs see justice done for vulnerable & impoverished citizens about court & tribunal fees?

Will the Justice Committee of MPs see justice done

for vulnerable and impoverished citizens

about court and tribunal fees?

The Justice Committee of MPs has set up an inquiry into court and tribunals costs and fees. TAP has submitted evidence that draws the attention of the committee to the the vulnerable and impoverished circumstances of many offenders summoned to the magistrates’ courts.

The background can be found in this excellent article in The Independent by Emily Dugan. 

TAP submission to the Justice Committee enquiry into courts and tribunals fees –

We  make the following recommendations;

1. The Ministry of Justice should publish breakdown of the total income from the £150 cost incurred by the magistrates’ courts when issuing a summons, setting the fines and enforcing them. Costs should be costs and not a fine, a deterrent or a profit. It should be noted that millions of fines are imposed by magistrates en bloc at little cost.

2. The criminal courts charge should be abolished in the magistrates’ courts.

3. The Wednesbury* principles and proportionality, when legislating to fine vulnerable and impoverished citizens, and add costs, should be paramount the minds of the government.

* The Wednesbury principles require all governmental decision makers and the courts to take account of all relevant facts, disregard all irrelevant facts and to be rational. see;


The biggest injustice in modern & wealthy societies is the dire inequality in life expectancy; up to 17 years in UK

TAP letter published by the in The Independent on the

24th August 2015


Letter from TAP published by The Independent 24th August 2015

Welfare Reform & Work Bill will it help the poorest live on average as long as the rich there is a seventeen year gap

Welfare Reform and Work Bill

Will it help the poorest to live, on average, as long as the rich?

There is at least seventeen year gap.

A committee of MPs starts going through the Bill line by line on the 10th September – TAP is lobbying for amendments that will bring policies about health, housing and incomes together in order to increase average  live expectancy of the poorest citizens of the UK up to the level of the richest; and for annual reports to Parliament of progress. There is a 17 year gaps in life expectancy between the poorest wards Glasgow and the richest wards in Kensington and Chelsea.

 There are reports of it being 17 years in Stockton in Tees; and another telling us Those living in Chelsea-Kensington have a life expectancy 17 years longer than people living in Tottenham Green. These chasms of life prospects – in the most elementary sense, of health and death – are not historical legacies. On the contrary, they are ongoing creations: between 1999 and 2008 the gap in life expectancy between London boroughs widened by almost four years.



The Rt Hon Lord Freud, Minister of State for Welfare Reform, The Department for Work and Pensions, Caxton House, Tothill St, Westminster, London SW1H 9NA, 21st August 2015


I note you intend changing the name of the Child Poverty Act 2010 to the Life Chances Act 2010. We suggest that life chances are determined by health, housing and incomes. All three need to achieve minimum standards if children are to thrive at school. Children do not learn well when their families are stressed, hungry or homeless.

Unmanageable debts in work and unemployment are created by combination of social security incomes diminishing in value, the taxation of benefits and cuts in housing benefit, while rents and house prices are taking an ever increasing proportion of incomes needed to pay for food, the fuel to cook it, keep warm and other necessities. That damages the health of the poorest citizens in both work and unemployment.

Because an affordable home is such fundamental necessity and the UK housing market is in such chaos I asked Fred Harrison, Director of the Land Research Trust to contribute the enclosed paper to the Bill Committee. He is willing to come with me to meet you.

Amending the Welfare Reform and Work Bill to prevent poverty and debt related ill health is just a start. Reducing the 12 year gap in expectation of life between rich and poor will also need a land and housing Bill.

Our collaboration with Fred Harrison has led to three key recommendations. To correctly assess life chances, three yardsticks are needed.

(i) HEALTH. A measure of the best life chances that are currently achieved. This is the standard against which to compare what is yet to be attained by those who are deprived of the “whole life” experience.

(ii) HOUSING. A measure (or measures) of the optimum life chances that could be achieved by the whole population, if all restraining barriers to free action were removed by the introduction of a public charge on the rental income of land.

(iii) INCOMES. Measures of the minimum incomes needed for healthy living by men, women and children throughout their lives.

The enclosed papers, including our proposed amendments, are being distributed to the Bill Committee members we know about so far; they will be distributed hard copy to the rest as soon as their names are announced.


The two submissions to the Welfare Reform and Work Bill Committee sent hard copy on the 21st August 2015. ,

TAP – TAP submission to the Welfare Reform and Work Bill Committee

Land Research Trust – Life Chances Act 


TAP is to speak out and take action against damage done to health of benefit claimants by low incomes, debt & hunger.





The word “peace”, in the Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist faiths means not only the absence of conflict but also the presence of wellbeing.

We will undertake at least three actions;

(1) We are working with MPs on an amendment to the Welfare Reform and Work Bill that will require Governments to take steps to reduce the 12 year gap in the expectation of life between the poorest and richest wards in the UK, and to reduce the incidence of poor maternal nutrition and subsequent low birth weight. MPs return from the summer recess on the 7th September and The WR&W Public Bill Committee starts work on the 10th September

(2) The Justice Committee of MPs is undertaking an inquiry into Courts and tribunals fees and charges. Specifically the Committee is asking the following question regarding the new charge mandatory charges introduced by Chris Grayling:

“What have been the effects on defendants of the introduction of the criminal courts charge? Has the criminal courts charge been set at a reasonable and proportionate level? Is the imposition and collection of the charge practicable and, if not, how could that be rectified?

We will be making a submission to the Justice Committee which will include the case of Nicolson v Tottenham Magistrates and Haringey Council about their £125 costs for a council tax liability order and the clash between sanctions and the enforcement of fines. .

(3) We will take all steps necessary to make the DWP address the damage the government’s policies do the the health and well being of benefit claimants in work and unemployment . You will remember that I wrote to the Prime Minister for TAP on the 19th May expressing concern about the damage to mental and physical health of low incomes, debts and hunger. Over 6000 TAP supporters like the letter, 4700 on our website and 1500 on Facebook Any suicides related to the benefit system are tragic and preventable. They are also tip of a very large ice berg of poverty related mental and physical ill health. Hence the “Titanic” picture covering this post.

Progress or the lack of it will be posted on Facebook, Twitter, TAP website and emailed to our various lists.

Here are the steps taken by the government so far to avoid answering the questions about health .

The next two steps by TAP are a complaint to the Parliamentary Ombudsman and or Judicial Review if we do not get a rational answer.


19th May PN’s original letter to the Prime Minister expressing concern about the damage to health by low incomes, debts and hunger.

4th June No 10 Direct Communications Unit to PN
“Your correspondence has been forwarded to the relevant government department so they can reply to you, in detail, on the matters you raise”

7th June PN to No 10 Direct Communications Unit. “As I have raised a poverty agenda to be addressed by the Government as a whole I now ask you to send my letter to all the relevant government departments”. (I named 7)

17th June DWP Ministerial Correspondence to PN. “Key to this Government’s reforms is the introduction of the Universal Credit”.

21st June PN complaint to the Prime Minister that “The words “health” or “debt” or “nutrition” or “rent” or “maternal” or “sanctions” do not appear even once in the DWP’s letter to me of the 17th June. It does not cite even one example of independent evidence about the impact on the health of the employed and the unemployed who engage with the current or future systems of social security”.

29th June No 10 Direct Communications Unit to PN “I have passed your further letter to the Department for Work and Pensions, who have responsibility for the matters raised so they are aware of your ongoing concerns”

15th July Formal Complaint to the Secretary of State from PN “you have failed altogether to answer any of the points I raised in a letter to the Prime Minister dated the 19th May 2015.

28th July David Lammy MP, PN’s constituency MP writes to the Secretary of State asking him to answer in detail the important points raised in PNs letter of the 19th May

13th August Formal Complaint to Independent Case Examiner that the Secretary of State has failed supply any answer the letter from David Lammy MP