Health Inequalities in Scotland: Looking beyond the blame game

Publication date

01 Jun 2011

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People in Scotland suffer from large and unjust inequalities in health – these are best be explained by considering the stark and growing inequalities in income, wealth and power between groups. Since the late 1970s, a series of neo-liberal economic and social policies have widened inequality in the UK and have, of course, had an impact in Scotland – for example, male life expectancy in certain more disadvantaged areas in Scotland can be as low as 61 years old. Health inequalities arise because of political decisions and processes and because of this it is essential to campaign for a narrowing in the power, income and wealth gaps that cause them. This paper is part of a series of papers which have resulted from the Whose Economy? seminar series, held in Scotland in 2010 – 2011, whose purpose was to provide a space for researchers, representative organisations, policy-makers and people with experience of poverty to come together and explore the causes of poverty and inequality in today’s Scotland.