MSP calls on UK government to face up to their failings

Evelyn Tweed MSPEvelyn Tweed MSP
Evelyn Tweed MSP
Evelyn Tweed has called on the UK Government to face up to the human cost of austerity, after a new report showed Tory policies have likely caused more deaths than the Covid-19 virus.

The report, produced by Glasgow University and the Glasgow Centre for Population Health (GCPH), revealed that almost 335,000 more deaths than expected were recorded across Scotland, England and Wales in an eight year period, and that these were “likely to have been caused by UK government economic policy.”

In Scotland, 12,735 excess deaths were recorded amongst men, and 6,564 amongst women - making a total of 19,299 excess deaths.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Researchers have said the figures are “not only shocking but shameful.”

Evelyn Tweed, who sits on the Health and Social Care Committee said; “This report is truly damning and exposes the human cost of tory austerity.

“One of the report’s authors, Dr David Walsh, warned us of these dangers during a Health Committee meeting months ago, describing the ongoing concern about the UK Government policies being imposed upon people already living in poverty.

“Even prior to the cost of living crisis, some of the biggest increases in poverty levels were amongst the employed, people who are living in in-work poverty.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"Issues like zero hour contracts and the gig economy are all causing people hardship – yet we are restricted in what we can do because employment legislation is entirely reserved to Westminster.

“Similarly, social security should be a safety net to help people when in difficulty, not a means by which people are punished with harsh conditionality of benefits. But Scotland is limited in what it can do to help people because the UK Government holds many of the levers.

“As a progressive nation who believes in protecting the poorest and supporting every person to have equal opportunities, Scotland is being damaged by the brutal policies from the UK Government.

“Scotland hasn’t voted for a Tory government in almost 60 years, yet we have had cruel Tory policy after cruel Tory policy imposed on us. We are now seeing those same policies are likely causing excess deaths here in Scotland, which is truly heartbreaking. But there is an alternative, we can have a brighter, safer future with independence, which would give us all the powers needed to ensure people weren’t left to go cold and hungry.”