Tory austerity is linked to almost 20,000 excess deaths in Scotland

A new report, produced by Glasgow University and the Glasgow Centre for Population Health, has just laid bare the human cost of Westminster control.

The findings are excruciating, and let’s be clear – people have paid for cruel Tory policies with their lives.

The report shows that Tory austerity policies, which Scotland never voted for but was forced to put up with anyway, have likely caused more deaths than the Covid-19 virus in Scotland.

Across the UK, 335,000 more deaths than expected were recorded in an eight year period, and nearly 20,000 of them were in Scotland.

As the report says, these were “likely to have been caused by UK government economic policy.”

The researchers said there was now a “clear and urgent need for such harmful policies to be reversed”, and urged the UK Government to “implement measures to protect the most vulnerable in society”.

But instead, in recent weeks, the Tories have been doing the exact opposite.

Prioritising increasing bankers’ bonuses while food bank use is skyrocketing.

Cutting taxes for the ultra-rich, only to U-turn because they realised they couldn’t get it through Parliament – not because it’s morally wrong.

Crashing the UK economy, with ordinary families paying the price with higher food bills and rising mortgages, for the sake of an extreme right-wing ideology.

And Brexit, which Scotland voted overwhelmingly against, is piling on even more misery and making Scotland pay the price.

Yet somehow, instead of recognising the clear economic damage, Labour have turned into full-scale cheerleaders of a hard Brexit that’s bad for workers, bad for small businesses and bad for families.

The fact that extra deaths have been caused by Westminster austerity should serve as a wake up call to the UK government and shame every single Tory to their core, including Douglas Ross and the rest of the Scottish Tories.

But let’s be honest, they don’t have an ounce of shame.

Douglas Ross is yet again making pathetic excuses and defending Liz Truss, whose approval ratings in Scotland are now even lower than Boris Johnson’s.

In the recent “mini-budget”, the UK government could have changed course by scrapping debt-inducing policies and finally bringing in meaningful, targeted support to help ordinary families get through the cost-of-living crisis that the Tories themselves helped to create.

But no, instead Liz Truss and her government chose the path of Tory Austerity 2.0 – failing to rule out cuts to benefits for the most vulnerable, and cuts to public services which are already struggling.

While threatening the NHS and cutting people’s incomes, they scrap the cap on bankers’ bonuses – because that’s where the Tory priorities lie.

And even though such policies are literally causing people to die, the Scottish Conservative Party prefers to just stay silent and stick their heads in the sand.

They could do the right thing and call on Liz Truss to uprate benefits with inflation as promised, so people aren’t left struggling even more than they already are.

But instead of standing up for people in Scotland who bear the brunt of the deadly Westminster austerity agenda, Douglas Ross’s bunch is siding – as ever – with their Westminster bosses.

Scotland hasn’t voted for a Tory government since the 1950s, yet we have countless cruel Tory policies imposed on us – which we now see are likely causing excess deaths.

It is truly heartbreaking, and we really shouldn’t have to put up with this. A better future is possible, and it’s within our grasp.

With independence, we can build a brighter, safer future, with all the powers needed to ensure that people live in dignity – instead of out-of-touch, reckless Tory governments leaving people cold, hungry and helpless.