Local government funding and life expectancy in England: a longitudinal ecological study
By Alexandros Alexiou, Katie Fahy, Kate Mason, Davara Bennett, Heather Brown, Clare Bambra, David Taylor-Robinson, Benjamin Barr
Published in The Lancet Public Health – July 2021
This work has been co-authored by Professor Clare Bambra (Newcastle University) – Inequalities Lead for the ARC North East and North Cumbria, and Dr Heather Brown (Newcastle University) a member of the ARC North East and North Cumbria.
The other authors and leads are members of the NIHR ARC North West Coast.
This paper was produced in collaboration with the NIHR School for Public Health Research (SPHR).
Since 2010, large reductions in funding for local government services have been introduced in England. These reductions in funding have potentially led to reduced provision of health-promoting public services. This work aimed to investigate whether areas that showed a greater decline in funding also had more adverse trends in life expectancy and premature mortality.
It links annual data on local government revenue expenditure and financing to 147 local authorities in England between 2013 and 2017 – with data from Public Health England, on life expectancy at birth, life expectancy at age 65 years, and premature (younger than 75 years) all-cause mortality rates.
The findings indicate that cuts in funding for local government might in part explain adverse trends in life expectancy.