On 14 May 2019, MPs debated the recent cuts to the Public Health Grant in the House of Commons.
Rushanara Ali MP urged the Government to provide funding and resources to tackle the UK’s public health emergency, instead of issuing catastrophic cuts. The Public Health Grant is expected to see a £700 million reduction between 2014/15 and 2019/20—a fall of almost a quarter per person. This will see cuts to vital services such as – children’s services, sexual health, alcohol and substance misuse, stop smoking services and others.
Commenting further on the Public Health Grant, Rushanara Ali said:
“The stark difference in health and life expectancy between the rich and poor is shameful.
Tower Hamlets has the shortest life expectancy of all London Boroughs with men living on average five years less than men in Kensington & Chelsea.
As an area with one of the highest levels of deprivation in the country, it is scandalous that over the last five years, its lost £3 million.
We need to prioritise public health, to prevent health inequalities from widening. We need to start by reversing the cuts to public health, then working towards a fairer, more equal society, where everyone has a fair chance in life, and no-one lives in preventable pain or dies before their time because they are poor.”