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Taking action to reduce inequalities in health is a priority across a whole range of government policies Frank Dobs...
Taking action to reduce inequalities in health is a priority across a whole range of government policies Frank Dobson, secretary of state for health, said today.

Commenting on publication by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation of 'Death in Britain', Mr Dobson said:

'Inequality in health is the worst inequality of all. There is no more serious inequality than knowing that you'll die sooner because you're badly off.

'So low income is a health hazard. Unemployment makes you ill. Poor housing and homelessness is a killer. That's why the government is determined to take action across the board to tackle low pay, to reduce unemployment and to build more and better homes for people.

'That's why our proposals for a national minimum wage will improve people's health. That's why our plans to get people off benefit and into work will help people live longer. And that's why our plans for a new house-building programme, funded by council's takings from the right to buy sales, will help people to live healthier and happier lives.

'Smoking kills 120,000 people every year. And the tobacco companies are targeting our children to recruit them into the ranks of smokers to make up those 120,000 of their customers that they kill off every year. That is unacceptable. That's why the government is mounting a massive drive to help people to cut down on the amount they smoke or preferably not to take up smoking in the first place.

'The present awful air conditions in the big cities are harming people's health. That's why our proposals to reduce traffic pollution will contribute to improving people's health.'

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