New analysis from Medway Labour reveals a £3.74 million (a 17.6%) cut in government public health support for the people of Medway since 2015/16.
Local public health teams are responsible for services which help save money in the longer term by improving public health, such as stop smoking services, sexual health services, health checks, public mental health, drug and alcohol services, children’s public health services, programmes to tackle obesity, amongst other key public health programmes.
Cuts to Medway’s public health budgets have meant that public health teams in our area have had to make difficult decisions about where they spend their money, alongside carrying out vital work to control the spread of Covid-19, including local outbreak planning, and crucially, promotional work to support the vaccine rollout.
Cllr Teresa Murray, Medway Labour and Co-operative Group’s Spokesperson for Health said:
“We’re paying more and getting a lot less – that’s what the Conservatives have delivered for people in Medway. Public Health in our community has taken a battering from this government, yet ministers can find billions for a Test and Trace system that doesn’t even work and for dodgy Covid contracts for their mates.
“Investing in public health is good for our community, we have a legacy of poor health and lower life expectancy in more deprived wards like Chatham Central and Gillingham North, and Coronavirus has hit these communities hardest. Investment in public health can help prevent long term serious illness and take pressure off the NHS.
“Instead of the support we need in Medway, all local people got in last month’s budget was yet another tax rise. The Medway Tories want Council Tax to rise by 9% in the next 3 years and refuse to accept that low rates of economic growth have led to high tax and less investment in our public services.
“It’s time this Conservative government stopped the squeeze on working people and started spending our money wisely, not wasting it on failure and favours for their friends and donors.”
Jonathan Ashworth, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Care said:
“Our NHS is in crisis and patients are waiting longer for treatment thanks to years of Tory cuts and a failure to recruit the doctors and nurses needed.
“In communities across the country the Tories have cut the vital public health services that prevent people becoming seriously ill, ultimately putting more pressure on local hospitals.
“To save lives we need to keep people well, but instead public health services are set to be stretched again thanks to this Conservative government.”
- Analysis from the Labour party and verified by the House of Commons Library has found that Medway has lost £3.74 million in funding for local public health services over the last five years, which equates to a cut of 17% per cent.
- Source: DHSC Public health grant allocations data
- Baseline allocation figures for 2015/16 are modelled as published in the 2016/17 allocations to provide an indication of annual change. The figures reflect what might have been allocated in 2015/16 if public health services for children aged under 5 were included in the public health grant, as they were in 2016/17 and later years.
- £37bn Test and Trace scheme has had ‘no clear impact’
- The Conservatives have now handed out more than £3.5bn in Crony contracts
- At the budget the Chancellor revealed plans to raise council tax across the country by 9% by 24/25
Source: Economic and fiscal outlook – October 2021 – Office for Budget Responsibility (obr.uk), p.100, Table 3.5