West Dunbartonshire’s MP Martin Docherty-Hughes has warned that the UK government cannot be allowed to place the burden of austerity on the poorest in society in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.

Local SNP MP Martin Docherty-Hughes said that the pandemic had exposed the damaging impact of austerity, as new figures suggest that people living in the most deprived areas are more than twice as likely to die from coronavirus compared to those living in the wealthiest parts.

According to figures published by the National Records of Scotland (NRS), West Dunbartonshire is amongst the areas worst affected by the Covid-19 outbreak, alongside Inverclyde and Renfrewshire in the West of Scotland.

It follows analysis published by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) suggesting that across the UK deprived communities are significantly more vulnerable to the risk of coronavirus.

Martin Docherty-Hughes MP said:

“These figures underline the devastating impact this virus is having on our communities and my thoughts remain with those who have tragically lost loved ones to Covid-19.

“The evidence here and across the UK shows that it is the poorest people living in the most deprived areas who are being hit hardest by the global pandemic.

“Wealth inequality leads to health inequality, and this virus is exposing in the starkest of terms the impact of over a decade of Tory austerity in West Dunbartonshire and across these islands.

“As we look to emerge from this crisis, Westminster cannot be allowed to once again place the burden of austerity on the poorest and most vulnerable in society.

“In Scotland we need to reflect on the kind of future we want to see in this country. The path ahead will be challenging, but I believe social justice must be at the heart of our recovery as we look to build a fairer and more equal future for all.”