Spending on public health

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  • Posted:Thursday 20 December 2018

Source: Analysis of local authority revenue, expenditure and finance, 2013/14 to 2018/19, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/local-authority-revenue-expenditure-and-financing; GDP deflators at market prices, and money GDP October 2018 (Budget 2018), HM Treasury: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/gdp-deflators-at-market-prices-and-money-gdp-october-2018-budget-2018
Notes: Data is in 2017/18 prices. Like-for-like comparisons exclude spending on children’s 0-5 services.


Spending on public health services by councils was 8 per cent lower in 2017/18 compared to 2013/14 (on a like-for-like basis). Although, on the face of it, total council spending on public health services has increased in real terms over this period, this is partly due to budgets and responsibility for some children’s services transferring to local authorities. Once these are accounted for, the pressure on council budgets for services such as sexual health, and drug and alcohol misuse, becomes clearer.

In December 2018 the government published details of the public health grant for local authorities for 2019/20, which shows that the reductions to this element of public health funding will continue.

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