I’m just off to do Any Questions from Norwich. It’s another chance to raise the profile of the RSA (we got a nice plug on the Today Programme this morning) but, as always, it’s balancing act between protecting the independence of the RSA while saying what I think and helping make for an interesting programme. I’ll leave readers to judge if I get it right.
But before rushing off, I wanted to share an interesting blog I read while mugging up on the health reforms (Andrew Lansley is also on AQ tonight). It’s by David Buck, Senior Fellow on health and inequalities at the King’s Fund.
The core finding of the study to which he refers is that cuts in social welfare spending have seven times as much impact on mortality levels as the same percentage increase in GDP. Of course, we currently have both falling real term social welfare spending and GDP but when the economy starts to grow again this finding will provide a very challenging backdrop to a Coalition which hopes to move investment from public to private sector while at the same time improving social outcomes.
I would love to make this point tonight but having done AQ five times the one consistent feature is that I never get the chance to make the ‘killer point’ I have prepared. Let’s see if the same thing happens tonight.
PS Has anyone spotted the seventies TV reference in the title?
Al Mathers Anthony Painter
How can the government tackle the UK's chronic and enduring regional inequalities? We explore three plausible areas of focus for levelling up: economic development, social cohesion, and community power and identity.
Hannah Webster reflects on new research that highlights the difficulty for those with long-term health conditions to achieve economic security.