Labour is today publishing new analysis exposing devastating Tory health cuts which are forcing 85% of councils to reduce their public health budgets this year.
In total the Government is forcing councils to make £800m of public health cuts over 6 years, and Labour’s new analysis of this year’s Revenue Account Budget figures, published by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, show that 130 out of 152 local authorities (85%) plan to reduce their public health budgets in 2018/19. In total a staggering £96.3m will be taken out of public health compared to 2017/18.
Among the worst hit services are sexual health which is being cut by 95 councils and loses £17.6m, and substance misuse which is being cut by 114 councils and loses £34m. Public health budgets aimed specifically at children are being cut by a total of £25.9m year-on-year. Smoking cessation budgets will fall by £3.1m and obesity budgets by £1m.
In the West of England:
Gloucestershire will lose £641,000 from its public health budget
From that public health budget, Gloucestershire will lose £576,000 from funds designated for sexual health, and a quarter of a million pounds from funds aimed at tackling substance misuse.
Fran Boait, Labour’s Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Gloucester, said:
“When drug related deaths are at their highest ever, when rates of STDs are rising, when more children are leaving school obese than ever before and when improvements in life expectancy have slowed, then these swingeing cuts to public health budgets are cynical and wrong.
“It’s all part of the Tories’ short-sighted ideological campaign against the services that keep families happy and healthy.
“Local services that are there to keep people well and out of hospital are being slashed in every part of England, and cuts of over six hundred thousand pounds in Gloucestershire will mean people suffer.
“The fact is these cuts to health budgets will leave people sicker, and in the long run will cost the NHS much more than they save. These cuts will push us towards a public health crisis.
“Labour is determined to narrow health inequalities in society and we’ll start by prioritising the health and wellbeing of every child. A Labour government will fully fund preventative public health schemes which will keep people well, particularly services for children, so that we can protect the health of the nation for generations to come.”