The Midlands and the North have suffered the biggest public health cuts in England, new analysis has revealed.
Research published by IPPR and IPPR North shows that on average, England has seen a cut of £13.20 per person while the North East experienced cuts of £23.24 per person, with the Midlands being hit by £16.70 per person.
The think tanks warned that those areas also saw the highest mortality rates during the first wave of COVID-19.
They said that addressing health inequality between the North and the rest of England would be worth an additional £20bn GVA boost each year for the North alone.
Alison Cox, Cancer Research UK’s director of prevention, said: ‘IPPR’s report starkly sets out that not only has there been huge cuts to public health over the last six years, but that public health investment appears to have shifted away from the areas of the country that need it most.
'The spending review has done nothing to change this. The effect of inequalities has been highlighted by the disproportionate burden of COVID-19 among the most deprived communities.
The researchers are calling for wellbeing to be made a core measure for economic development, a new health security and inequality council chaired by the Prime Minister, and the public health grant to be restored to its 2014/15 level.