IT was fairly astonishing to listen to Boris Johnson speaking final week in regards to the unfairness of a person born in Glasgow or Blackpool residing 10 years lower than somebody from the prosperous House Counties, and that this is the reason “levelling up” is so vital.
He both doesn’t see the irony and hypocrisy of his mumblings, or has not bothered to seek out out what his authorities is definitely doing.
This authorities has devised a brand new formulation for allocating public well being spending that may see disadvantaged areas within the north significantly deprived. For the reason that Authorities transferred accountability for Public Well being from the NHS to native authorities in 2013, County Durham’s Public Well being grant has been reduce by £7m.
Final 12 months, the Authorities produced the brand new ACRA formulation for allocating public well being grants to native authorities, which appears to take little account of ranges of deprivation. Life expectancy in County Durham, a county with a number of the most disadvantaged wards within the nation, is 78 years for a person and 81.3 years for a girl however their wholesome life expectancy is simply 59 years.
In Surrey a person can count on to stay for 81.4 years and a girl for 84.6 years with a wholesome life expectancy of 69 years, a complete 10 years greater than for County Durham.
But beneath this new ACRA formulation, County Durham stands to lose £18m from its public well being grant, whereas Surrey, one of the prosperous components of the nation, would obtain an additional £14m. I wrote to our Tory MP about this final 12 months, asking how the Authorities may justify such unfairness, and she or he has not replied.
If inequalities in our nation are actually going to be tackled then bettering public well being is key.
It’s way more vital than constructing bypasses or making excessive streets look prettier. Boris was attempting to reassure southern voters that they received’t be deprived in levelling up.
If public well being spending is something to go by then these fortunate folks in Surrey will quickly be in even richer clover. Dr Heather Smith, Hamsterley, Bishop Auckland.