SNP Government policies helped to prevent TWICE as many excess deaths due to Tory austerity

I’m a bit late getting to this but, it’s worth drawing attention to I think.

Published on 6 September, research by University of Glasgow staff, revealed the appalling costs of a decade of Conservative Government austerity policies.

Much was made of the figure of the figure of 335 000 excess deaths across the UK, reported in The Conversation of 6 October:

Cuts to public services and living standards across Britain from 2010 contributed to 335,000 excess deaths – twice as many as previously thought, according to new research. These austerity measures were introduced by the coalition government elected into office that year, partly in response to the banking crash of 2008.

Previous estimates had suggested that 152,000 people died prematurely between 2015 and 2019 due to austerity. The new study, conducted by researchers at the University of Glasgow and the Glasgow Centre for Population Health and published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, suggests this was an underestimate and also suggests that austerity had a growing effect over time.

More recently and triggering this piece today, Open Democracy on 4 January 2023, had:

It was claimed that austerity since 2010 had led to a third of a million excess deaths.

Reading the above, I was disappointed to see no national breakdowns and so returned to the original research (table above).

One fact jumped out. The percentage of deaths due to austerity was 4.6% in Scotland and 9.2% (exactly twice as high) in England & Wales.

That’s lot of deaths.

12 735 fewer excess deaths in Scotland than might have been the case had the conditions in England & Wales pertained here.

Nearly 120 000 more excess deaths in England & Wales than might have been the case had the conditions in Scotland pertained there.

Noting also, Scotland’s long history of shorter life expectancy, its hard to see this as other than an achievement of the SNP Government and the public services it directs.

Scotland’s NHS is better staffed and has higher morale due to more respectful approaches by the Government to them. Witness recent behaviour with the health unions.

In more recent times, Scotland’s Covid strategies, including both quicker and more consistent government actions, especially with regard to care home vaccinations, along with the aforementioned better NHS, led to a significantly lower Covid and collateral rate of death – 226.8 per 100K in Scotland compared to 310.9 in England.

There will have been other factors such as the significantly lower level of core homelessness, 0.94% of households in England compared to 0.57% in Scotland and a far lower level of rough sleeping in Scotland.


One thought on “SNP Government policies helped to prevent TWICE as many excess deaths due to Tory austerity

  1. A correction is required. The data you quote relates only to excess deaths of males. The data for excess deaths of females in Scotland compared to England and Wales shows 3% compared to 3.9% for the latter. Your general point is still substantially valid, but, accuracy is essential.


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