Friday, 2 May 2014

Low life-expectancy in North Ayrshire

New figures released by the National Records of Scotland call into question claims that Scots are better remaining within the British Union.

The latest stats reveal that, on average, people in Scotland can expect to die sooner than those living in other parts of the UK. North Ayrshire is particularly badly affected by low life-expectancy.

Local MP Katy Clark said, “While there has been a steady increase in life-expectancy over past decades, the gaps and variation paint a depressing picture. The UK average for female life expectancy is 82.7 years, while men can expect to live for 78.9 years. In Scotland, the average is 80.8 for women and 76.6 for men. North Ayrshire sees female life expectancy drop to 80.72 for women and 76.03 for men.”

The Labour MP said it is not surprising that more affluent areas of the country have significantly higher levels of life expectancy than the most impoverished, adding, “The conclusion we can draw from this is blindingly clear: we need to urgently root out the systemic causes of poverty and inequality.

“While the statistics are revealing, they are only numbers. Behind them are the real experiences of constituents I hear from every week. Workers are earning poverty pay and living under the constant stress and fear of losing their jobs as the only security they have are zero-hour contracts. We’ve seen benefit payments reduced and capped, and people are literally choosing whether to feed their families or heat their homes.”

The MP for North Ayrshire & Arran said, “Cuts to funding in health care, social services, local councils and further education have all removed support and opportunities for those living in poverty. It is no wonder that people’s physical and mental well-being is harmed as a result, and the life expectancy figures just confirm what many of us already knew.”

Ms Clark supports Scotland remaining within the British Union and argues a future UK Labour Government would seek to address the problems that cause low life-expectancy.

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