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Austerity just isn't healthy, says report.

Byline: ANDY PHILIP

AUSTERITY and welfare cuts are bad for your health, a Holyrood report has warned.

The report looked at health policies and their impact in the 20 years of devolution since the Scottish Parliament was established in 1999.

It drew on research linking public spending cuts with widening inequality between poorer and better-off areas.

Overall life expectancy grew faster in the years to 2011 but the trend slowed over the past seven years.

Deaths rates in the poorest parts increased between 2012 and 2017.

The report said policies aimed at "bolstering the economy", such as welfare reform and reduced public spending, "may have had a detrimental effect on the wider determinants of health".

It added: "If correct, then this perhaps indicates the importance of economic policies as a lever to improve public health."

SNP MSP Emma Harper said the report outlined the "widespread destruction" caused by Tory austerity.

Labour health spokeswoman Monica Lennon added: "Progress on health inequalities have stalled under austerity."

But Tory MSP Miles Briggs said: "There are many and complex reasons for public ill-health and it is far too simplistic to pick out only one."

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WARNING Emma Harper

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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Mar 6, 2019
Words:195
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