Labour to tackle 'injustice' of children living shorter lives in Yorkshire

Labour will tackle the “injustice” of children born in Yorkshire living a shorter life than one born in the South, it’s shadow health secretary has said.

Speaking to The Yorkshire Post, Wes Streeting said that his party will take a similar approach to the last Labour government which oversaw the average life expectancy extended by three and a half years.

Since Labour left office, increasing life expectancy has stalled, with experts telling Pod’s Own Country, The Yorkshire Post’s politics podcast, that parties need to bring back the strategy on health inequality from New Labour which was ditched over the last 10 decades despite evidence suggesting it made a real difference.

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Under Tony Blair’s Labour government, the party introduced a strategy that meant that policies across government departments had to look at how their policies impacted health inequalities across the country.

Shadow Health Secretary Wes StreetingShadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting
Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting

Analysis of life expectancy data suggests that a baby boy born in Hull today will fall into ill-health 16 years earlier in their life than a boy born in Richmond, West London.

Healthy life expectancy is more than four years shorter across Yorkshire than the South East today

Labour has already committed to improving the healthy life expectancy and halving the gap between regions in England.

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This will be done through a “missing delivery board” inside government to bring together all the departments that are able to affect the nation’s health.

Wes Streeting, Shadow Health and Social Care Secretary, said: “It cannot be right that a child born in Yorkshire will live a significantly shorter, less healthy life than a child born in London. Britain needs a government focused on tackling this injustice, but the Conservatives have shown they are the party of punching down not levelling up.

“The last Labour government didn’t just deliver the shortest NHS waits and highest patient satisfaction in history. We built a healthier society by tackling the drivers of poor health.

“It will be the mission of the next Labour government to tackle health inequalities and help everyone live well for longer. We will take on the junk food and vaping companies targeting our children, insulate millions of homes to stop children growing up in cold, damp housing, and get growth into every corner of our country.”

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