A partial answer to your question “Why are so many people leaving the workforce amid a UK cost of living crisis?” (4 December) may be found in your article on the health divide in Britain (Health and wealth divides in UK worsening despite ‘levelling up’ drive, report finds, 4 December).
I live in the north-east of England – the area with the lowest healthy life expectancy. Our NHS, previously excellent and often performing well within targets, is rapidly disintegrating. There are fewer people with private medical insurance and resources to pay for their own treatment.
The long-term impact of environmental damage, poor jobs that are badly paid and bad housing has led to too many people with long-term conditions, poor mental health, high levels of disability and “ill-being” (as opposed to wellbeing).
Rather than blaming people for not being sufficiently productive, or daring to be economically inactive, we need to invest in people, public services and places. Oh, and don’t forget childcare.
Newcastle upon Tyne