Government under fire after DH adspend cuts

The squeeze on the Government's advertising budget was attacked as a "false economy" this week after it revealed spending on health campaigns had slumped.

Change4Life budgets have been cut
Change4Life budgets have been cut

Simon Burns, the Health Minister, said his department spent £4.21 million during the Coalition’s first year, down from £60.28 million in the final year of the previous Labour government.

Spending on the department’s flagship Change4Life campaign dropped from £9.2 million to £1.61 million and on the anti-smoking drive from £14.6 million to £1.05 million.

The figures were disclosed in a written Commons answer as a new study by Cancer Research UK confirmed that smoking is the biggest single cause of avoidable cancer.

Diane Abbott, Labour’s spokeswoman on public health, said: "These cuts, for the sake of saving a few million pounds, will create a bill for billions down the line. They are a false economy."

Burns said the ad budget  for the current year "has not yet been finalised".