Stockton North MP, Alex Cunningham, has branded Tory cuts to the Public Health Grant a “scandal” after it emerged that the Tees Valley has lost £14 million* pounds in important health funding since 2014.
A report released by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) North on 8 December showed that areas hardest hit by the Coronavirus pandemic have suffered the harshest cuts to the public health. In the Tees Valley spending per head has been cut by £25.80 – about twice the national average.
Public Health is an important tool in preventing long-term conditions. The grant is often used by local authorities to fund weight loss, smoking cessation and sexual health programmes – among many others. With the longer term health effects of Coronavirus coming to light, the grant will be a much needed resource.
“As a result of Tory cuts to the Public Health Grant the Tees Valley has lost £14 million since 2014. Imagine what could have been done with that money to improve the health of people in our area.
“Rather than ensuring areas in most need get the funding they need, successive Tory Governments has chosen to hit them with the harshest cuts to public health. That’s an absolute scandal, and one that flies in the face of their so-called Levelling Up agenda.
“With the effects of Coronavirus creating an added pressure on health budgets the Government should do the right thing – restore the grant to its 2014/2015 level and ensure we have the funding needed to tackle the health inequalities in our area.”
*Figure used by IPPR North – does not include Redcar and Cleveland, which is yet to report the correct data.