Budget 2017: Investment in social care and training young scientists

Cancer Research UK

Additional funding for social care and investment in new research training placements have been announced in the Spring Budget.  

The Chancellor, Philip Hammond, also confirmed the tax rates for the new Soft Drinks Industry Levy, legislation which will be included in the Finance Bill 2017. 

Hammond said that the Government expected lower income from the tax because the food industry had already begun removing sugar from drinks, so-called reformulation. 

"It’s good news that the sugary drinks levy is already having an impact on companies reformulating how much sugar is in their products" - Emma Greenwood, Cancer Research UK

But he confirmed that the Department for Education will still receive the £1 billion that had previously been committed through the tax for investment in school sports and healthy living programmes. 

Key announcements relating to cancer: 

On the NHS

  • £2 billion for adult social care over the next three years and £425 million investment in the NHS in the next three years.

On cancer prevention

  • Confirmed rates for the Soft Drinks Industry Levy. The rates for added sugar drinks with total sugar content of 5 grams or more per 100mls will be 18p and 24p per litre for drinks with 8 grams or more. 

On science

  • £300 million investment for new academic research placements and initial funding to support research in areas such as medicine manufacturing technologies to speed up patient access to drugs. 

Emma Greenwood, director of policy at Cancer Research UK, welcomed the social care funding announcement, stating that the strain services are experiencing impacts on hospitals and cancer surgery.

“We’re also supportive of the news of a capital investment expected in the Autumn to support implementation of Sustainability and Transformation Plans. The plans aim to bring together the NHS and local councils to develop proposals for health and care, designed around the needs of local populations.

“It’s good news that the sugary drinks levy is already having an impact on companies reformulating how much sugar is in their products,” added Greenwood. “These rates provide a clear incentive to manufacturers to take action now. But they will also help more of us to drink fewer sugary drinks where companies don’t change their products .” 

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Investment in research training will see 1,000 PhD students trained in science, technology, engineering and maths subjects.

“It’s important that the UK Government is able to support those in the early stages of their careers,” said Greenwood. “This is vital in helping the country to attract and retain researchers who go on to work in our hospitals and labs across the country and are at the heart of the discoveries that benefit patients.”