Skip to main content

Scots willing to pay higher taxes to reduce healthcare inequalities, research suggests

SCOTS would be prepared to pay higher taxes to reduce healthcare inequalities, new research shows today.

A survey commissioned by NHS Health Scotland found that seven in 10 think the wealthy are better able to live healthy lives, and that people in richer areas tend to be healthier.

The Scottish Social Attitudes survey found that 51 per cent of the Scottish population blamed injustice in society as a key factor in poor health.

And 58 per cent said they would be prepared to pay more tax if it could be used to reduce health inequalities.

The report was welcomed by Labour, which has repeatedly accused Scotland’s SNP government of failings in the health sector.

“Scotland can only be a healthier country if it is a fairer country,” Scottish Labour health spokeswoman Elaine Smith said.

“Labour would poverty-proof all government policies and fix our broken energy markets and housing systems. We would make the richest pay their fair share and redistribute that wealth to those who need it the most.  

“All of these actions would reduce the strain on our NHS, which already sees overworked and undervalued staff counting the cost of the SNP and Tory governments’ failure to tackle poverty effectively.”

Women, leftwingers and poor people were all more likely to agree that societal injustice was a key factor in health problems, according to the report, which was published by ScotCen Social Research.

Half of Scots want the government to do more to reduce health inequalities.

ScotCen research director Susan Reid said: “Inequalities in health between different regions and different groups of people in Scotland are among the highest in western Europe.

“Today’s findings illustrate that the vast majority of Scots believe that poverty is related to having poorer health and overwhelmingly perceive the income gap as too large.”

SNP Public Health Minister Aileen Campbell said: “Tackling inequality is crucial to improving the health of many people in Scotland, and continues to be central to the government’s policies.”


We're a reader-owned co-operative, which means you can become part of the paper too by buying shares in the People’s Press Printing Society.



Become a supporter

Fighting fund

You've Raised:£ 10,282
We need:£ 7,718
11 Days remaining
Donate today