“Our book shows that the cost of austerity can be calculated in human lives. It articulates how austerity kills. It shows austerity and health is always a false economy — no matter how positively some people view it, because for them it shrinks the role of the state, or reduces payments into a system they never use anyway,” Stuckler says.
When times are hard, governments need to invest more — or, at the very least, cut where it does least harm. It is dangerous and economically damaging to cut vital supports at a time when people need them most.
“So there is an opportunity here to make a lasting difference. To set our economies on track for a happier, healthier future, as we did in the postwar period. To get our priorities as a society right. It’s not yet too late. Almost, but not quite,” Stuckler says.