NHS Health Scotland briefing on income, wealth and poverty

In the 8th of a series of inequality briefings, NHS Health Scotland focus on the role of income, wealth and poverty in creating health inequalities, and Cover of NHS Health Scotland inequality briefing 8the evidence for effective actions to reduce health inequalities in this area.

The paper emphasises that income and wealth inequalities are a fundamental cause of health inequalities and also influence other factors such as housing, alcohol use and smoking. As a result, the briefing continues, effective policy to tackle health inequalities will need to redistribute resources through taxation and social policies to address wealth and income inequalities.

Three key actions are suggested by NHS Health Scotland:

  • Make the reduction of income and wealth inequalities the central objective of economic policy.
  • Introduce the living wage to reduce the ratio between the highest and lowest earners and provide greater income security.
  • Ensure tax is more progressive and provide greater resources for redistribution and public services.

Click here to see NHS Health Scotland's latest briefing.

CHEX recently published our own briefing highlighting the impact poverty and current welfare cuts are having on communities and, in turn, community-led health organisations. In Putting the "well" into welfare, we describe how community-led health organisations are increasingly required to support people in crisis and that this has a knock on impact on their ability to carry out developmental work with communties.

Our own recommendation for policy makers - to add to those from NHS Health Scotland - is that communities need to be involved in the decisions affecting them, particularly those communities worst affected by 'austerity'. More investment in communiy-led health will help to insure this.

 

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