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A 25 year gap between the life expectancy of rich and poor Londoners is a further indictment of our unequal society http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/a-25-year-gap-between-the-life-expectancy-of-rich-and-poor-londoners-is-a-further-indictment-of-our-unequal-society-9061888.html


It would be good to know the reasons for this. It is a huge difference which is probably not replicated in any other part of the country where the living conditions of different socio-economic groups are broadly similar.

 London is hugely polluted – it is said breathing London air is equal to smoking 20 cigarettes a day. It is hugely stressful, congested, with unremitting noise. The living conditions between rich and poor are at their greatest. With money you can buy a house in a quiet street, and a second home to get away from London at the weekends and every opportunity. Money is a buffer against stress and allows you to buy your way out of it.

In contrast, even people on reasonable incomes in London live in tiny spaces where the neighbours are too close – and if they are noisy or anti-social there is no escape.  If you are not rich, the stress is continuous – and ongoing stress damages both physical and mental health.

On top of which the government has just put the retirement age back. Many poor Londoners will not live to collect their pensions.