Is there anything the SNP is doing well in public policy terms? Devolved Scots pay higher taxes than the rest of the UK. The results are pretty grim.

Now, life expectancy in Scotland has dropped for another year, marking the sharpest fall since 1980-82, according to data from the National Records of Scotland (NRS).

The figure stands at 76.6 for men and 80.8 for women for the years 2019-2021. In comparison to the 2018-2020 figures for the other regions of the UK, life expectancy in Scotland is lowest across the union – although the latest figures are not yet available for the rest of the UK.

The NRS said that Covid-19 deaths are responsible for much of the fall, but also pointed to deprivation as a likely factor.

Drug-related deaths also contributed to the drop, as the country continues to struggle with high drug use – an estimated 57,300 suffer from drug-related problems in Scotland.

In the most deprived parts of Scotland, the life expectancy for males is 13.7 years lower than in the wealthiest areas, while the average female life expectancy was 10.5 years lower.

Before 2010, life expectancy in Scotland was on the rise, before plateauing in 2012, but the figure began to drop rapidly with the onset of the Covid pandemic.

Even before a global pandemic crippled the NHS, Scotland was spending £125 more per person on healthcare than in England. It’s not working.

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