A Scottish charity has raised the alarm about the potential of a notable rise in the death rate among the homeless in Scotland as the entire United Kingdom grapples with a worsening economic crisis.
The Simon Community charity issued the warning, Sky News reported on Dec. 26, as Scotland is still reeling from hundreds of homeless deaths that were registered in 2021.
“Recent official figures from the National Records of Scotland (NRS) reveal an estimated 250 homeless people died last year, which is around 50 percent higher than in 2017,” the network reported.
“It is a worsening position over the last three to four years, which is a massive concern,” said Lorraine McGrath, the charity’s chief executive.
“The vast majority of those people are under 45 years old,” she said, adding, “That is because of the massive health inequalities they face, [and] the stress on their body that leads to premature ageing that [in turn] leads to the long-term conditions that may well be easily treatable.”
Ms. Lorraine said, “People experiencing homelessness don’t enjoy the same access to health care, which increases their risk of early death.”
In Aberdeen, an army of street volunteers paces the pavements most days, issuing basic supplies to those in need.
Olivia McKay, from Street Friends Aberdeen, said: “I started over a year ago, and we were seeing up to 20 people a day giving them blankets, sleeping bags, food, and clothes. Now, because of the cost-of-living crisis, we are seeing up to 65 people a day.”
Official data also show that the number of children living in temporary accommodation in Scotland has risen to the highest level since records began in 2002.
The UK’s year-on-year inflation rate stands at 10.7 percent, the highest in four decades. The inflationary spiral is, meanwhile, growing at a much faster pace than the average wage raise across the country.
Food prices have skyrocketed almost 20 percent. Rising energy prices, along with soaring energy costs, have also largely contributed to the UK’s cost-of-living crisis.
Many labor unions have launched industrial actions to press the government to enact wage hikes. The government, however, refuses to increase the wages, saying it would increase the inflation.
The government blames the economic doldrums partly on the COVID-19 pandemic, saying the country has been having a hard time recovering from the stagnation that used to govern the period.
Experts, however, fault leadership incompetence and turbulence that saw the country changing several prime ministers over the past two years. (PressTV.ir)