Recent figures released by Renfrewshire Health & Social Care Partnership have revealed a massive life expectancy gap of almost 15 years between males with those in Paisley North West coming in at 68.9 years while those in Houston South can expect to live to 83.8 years old.
There is a similar gap in female life expectancy, with those in Johnstone North reaching 74.1 years while those in Paisley Ralston can expect to reach 88.1 years. The areas mentioned in the report are health board datazones and they do not strictly relate to council ward boundaries as the health board zones are smaller.
Kenny MacLaren, SNP councillor for Paisley Northwest, said: “The massive gap in life expectancy between communities in Renfrewshire is shocking and requires more action from the UK Government.”
“Obviously there are issues such as poverty and income inequality as well as health and lifestyle factors which influence life expectancy but the gaps between similar sized communities across Renfrewshire is truly staggering.
“While the council does what it can to try to boost well being in areas with deprivation, it is clear from these figures that more direct action is needed. Councils have limited powers to draw on whereas the UK Parliament has a whole host of powers which it fails to use. For instance, although the Scottish Parliament can alter some tax rates to create a fairer tax system and generate more investment into poorer communities, the real power still resides in Westminster.
“Scotland needs to have the full powers of a normal independent nation so that we can tackle this shocking age gap across places like Renfrewshire. This would include tackling tax fraud where large companies simply do not pay their taxes. Research has shown that the UK fails to collect around £120billion in tax each year from tax dodgers – yet they will hound people on benefits!
“We need to have a vision of a more cohesive Scotland, where everyone has the same opportunities in life and your chances of life a long, healthy life are not determined by your postcode.”
The figures were released at Renfrewshire Health & Social Care Partnership, a training event for councillors.