Government under fire after DH adspend cuts

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Change4Life budgets have been cut
Change4Life budgets have been cut

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.

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".

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