8 December 2019

Years of indifference have left Scotland facing deepening health inequalities in Scotland, Scottish Labour has said.

Individuals in the least deprived areas of Scotland live nearly 23 more years in ‘good health’ than those in the most deprived areas.

One in four children are living in poverty and going hungry, homelessness is on the rise and hundreds of thousands of Scotland’s poorest residents struggle to pay heating and electricity bills.

Health inequalities also contribute to the pressures on NHS Scotland, our struggling social care system, and the education attainment gap.

Scottish Labour has proposed a detailed plan to end health inequalities in Scotland, including building over one hundred thousand new social and council homes, introducing a Real Living Wage £10 an hour, scrapping Universal Credit, slashing energy bills through the introduction of a mass retrofitting scheme, and free school meals for all of Scotland’s children, 365 days a year.

Scottish Labour Leader Richard Leonard said:

“How can it be right that some citizens can live over 70 years in good health due to their socioeconomic circumstances, while others in the same country, living as little as a mile away, die way earlier than they should?”

"How can it be right that one in four children in Scotland wake up hungry, go to school hungry and go to bed hungry?

"How can it be right that thousands of older people, who for decades worked hard and paid their taxes, now face a choice between heating and eating, while hundreds die as a result of harsh winters and lack of warmth?

"Inequality is bad for everyone in Scotland. It depresses economic growth, lowers social mobility, damages community cohesion and increases crime. Rising inequality hurts everyone regardless of economic status.

"Let’s make this the last Christmas where health inequalities deepen in Scotland."
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