LABOUR FAILS TO CLOSE LIFE EXPECTANCY GAP BETWEEN ENGLAND & WALES

July 8, 2009 12:00 AM

Figures released today by the Office for National Statistics, show that Labour has failed to close the gap in the chances of surviving to the age of 75 between people living in England and those in Wales.

The figures show that:

• Over the last year, the gap in the chances of people in England living to 75 compared to those in Wales has grown.

• Men in Wales have a 2.3% lower chance of living to 75 compared to men in England, the same as 1997.

• Women in Wales have a 1.9% lower chance of living to 75, slightly worse than in 1997 and also worse than the previous year.

• Since 2006, 8 Welsh local authorities saw the chances of men and 4 saw the chances of women living to 75 actually fall.

Commenting, Jenny Willott, Welsh Liberal Democrat MP for Cardiff Central, said:

"Labour has failed to close the gap in life expectancy between England and Wales.

"The days of heavy industry and mining in Wales produced a life expectancy gap between England and Wales, but those days are long gone so why is the gap not closing? In fact, the figures are going the wrong way.

"Over the last year, the gap between the chance of living to 75 in England and in Wales has increased. Several Welsh local authorities have seen the chance of living beyond 75 actually fall.

"Life expectancy is one of the most common ways of measuring the health and well being of a population. The fact that Wales is still significantly behind England is deeply troubling."

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