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Fri, 14 August 2020

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Two-thirds of councils cutting millions from addiction budgets, Labour reveals

Two-thirds of councils cutting millions from addiction budgets, Labour reveals
2 min read

Two-thirds of local councils are cutting a total of £43m from their addiction treatment and prevention budgets this year, official figures have revealed.

Labour, who uncovered the data, said public spending cuts imposed by the Government were to blame.

Shadow Health Secretary Jon Ashworth, whose own father was an alcoholic, will reveal the figures at a Labour conference event alongside former drug addict and TV celebrity Russell Brand.

They show that 106 local authorities are reducing their drug treatment and prevention budgets this year, with a combined cut across England of £28.4m.

In addition, 95 local authorities are losing £6.5m from their alcohol treatment and prevention budgets this year.

And 70 local authorities are reducing their budget for drug and alcohol services for children by £8.3m.

Mr Ashworth said: "These are staggering cuts to addiction and prevention services including cuts to support for children with drug and alcohol problems.

"The Tories are cynically imposing multi-million pound cuts on councils and the result is reductions in essential services to prevent and treat addiction.

"It’s yet another example of how this Tory government is dismantling the country's public health system.

"The long-term effect will be growing addiction problems in society and increases the long term costs for the health services. The Government are yet again failing some of the most vulnerable in society.

"Labour would protect public health budgets and invest in people’s long term health across the UK. Supporting those with addiction issues will be a huge priority for our public health services under a Labour Government."


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