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Departmental Expenditure

Volume 455: debated on Thursday 25 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how much her Department spent on (a) eating disorders, (b) smoking reduction, (c) alcohol abuse and (d) drug abuse in the latest year for which figures are available; and what her Department's targets are for hospital and primary care trust spending in each category; (116036)

(2) what estimates her Department has made of the net cost to the economy of (a) eating disorders, (b) smoking reduction, (c) alcohol abuse and (d) drug abuse.

No breakdown of the overall spend on eating disorders by the Department has been made, nor has an estimate been made of the economic cost of eating disorders.

The Department launched a tobacco control media campaign in December 1999 and the approximate spend on this in 2006-07 was £12.25 million. This amount does not include helpline running costs. We also fund the national health service stop smoking services and have allocated £56 million each year for this in 2006-07 and 2007-08, with £10 million of this heavily weighted towards spearhead primary care trusts.

No estimate of the overall economic cost of smoking has been produced. However, regulatory impact assessments have been made of the impact of smoke free legislation, new pack warnings and the forthcoming rise in age of purchase from 16 to 18. Copies of these reports have been placed in the Library.

We are spending £1.7 million in 2006-07 on the “Know your Limits” campaign, which seeks to prevent binge drinking. The Home Office is contributing additional funding. In 2006-07, the Department is also spending £1.5 million on the alcohol identification and brief advice trailblazer programme. This research programme into the effectiveness of screening and brief intervention techniques will run over two years and an equal amount of additional funding will be supplied by the Department in 2007-08.

The Department estimates the net cost of alcohol abuse to be £20 billion per year.

In 2005-06, we allocated £300 million to the pooled drug treatment budget, and a further £208 million local funding was made available. This money is allocated to drug action teams across the country to use to meet local action plans. The Department has estimated that for every £1 spent on drug treatment, at least £9.50 is saved in crime and health costs.

We do not set targets for hospital or primary care trust (PCT) spending. Decisions about spending are made by each PCT. It is for PCTs, in conjunction with their strategic health authorities, to plan and develop services according to the needs of their local communities.