Health Inequalities: Office for Health Improvement and Disparities — [Derek Twigg in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 4:07 pm on 26th January 2022.

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Photo of Maggie Throup Maggie Throup The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care 4:07 pm, 26th January 2022

I reassure the hon. Gentleman that tackling homelessness is a high priority for this Government.

As hon. Members have mentioned, the Government will shortly publish a landmark levelling-up White Paper that will set out bold new policy interventions to improve livelihoods and opportunities in all parts of the UK, and to reduce the disparities between different parts of the UK. Poor health is stopping people accessing quality education and jobs with good career prospects, limiting their career progress, and undermining local prosperity and the general wellbeing of communities across the UK. Of course, it would be wrong of me to pre-announce the contents of that important White Paper.

Tackling health disparities promotes economic prosperity by increasing productivity and reducing strain on public services, including the economic cost of preventable ill health to the NHS and the welfare system. To address those issues, we are investing in tackling the key contributors, such as obesity and smoking. We are also investing £500 million to transform Start4Life and family health services.