27 Oct 2021 Food Active repsonse to the Autumn Spending Review
Today the Chancellor set out the government’s tax and spending plans for the next three years – including a commitment to fund the Holiday Activities and Food Programme, but suprisingly nothing on investing in public health. Our Chief Executive responds…
We are pleased to see the Government commit to annual funding for the Holiday Activities and Food Programme, which was a key recommendation in the National Food Strategy. However, this is a long overdue commitment for holiday provision, and we would like to see a stronger focus on ensuring that food provided at these clubs is healthy and nutritious and considering how the programme can support children across all holiday periods, not just a select few.
Whilst the government has committed to maintaining the Public Health Grant, we are very disappointed that this has not received additional funding given the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. This is on top of years of cuts to the budget for local authority public health teams, a cut of 24% in real terms since 2015/16. Simply maintaining the grant will only lead to further pressures on public health teams and ultimately a reduction in service provision across the country.