Power, expenses and a hefty pay packet are not the only perks enjoyed by British politicians, it appears. New research shows MPs live four years longer than the average British citizen.
The study, published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) on Tuesday, also shows peers in the House of Lords are lucky enough to live for an extra five years. After examining historical records going back to 1945, researchers found the life expectancy of politicians has increased rapidly in recent decades. Death rates for MPs over the last 70 years have been 28 percent lower than those of the general population, the study found.
Male politicians can expect to live to the age of 87 years and five months, four years more than the average person. Meanwhile, female MPs can expect to live to 90, nearly four years more than the average woman in society, who would be expect to live to 86 years and two months.
Between 1945 and 2011, death rates among MPs fell much faster than in the general population. Overall, the research concluded British politicians have “never had it so good.” senior author Dr. Tim Crayford said “MPs are drawn from us – the rest of the population. They represent us and in many ways are meant to be like us. But in terms of mortality they are ahead of us,” he wrote in the journal. “It is reasonably likely that the silver spoon that Lords are born with may have conferred some health benefits.” British politicians may live longer because of the education many of them received. Health experts say good education is the key to long life. Almost a third of MPs in the House of Commons went to a private school. Of the 32 percent, almost one in 10 went to Eton, an independent boarding school in Berkshire which Prime Minister David Cameron attended. Tories had the lowest death rate of all MPs.
“If Parliament is truly to represent the whole nation, the best people should be able to become MPs, regardless of social background,” Sutton Trust Chief Executive Dr. Lee Elliot Major told BBC News.