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Sir Michael Marmot's
IHE team

Sir Michael Marmot 'nervous' about health equalities implications of budget

23rd June 2010 07:47

Sir Michael Marmot, author of the “Fair Society, Healthy Lives” report published earlier this year, has told a plenary session of the NHS Confederation conference that the changes to the benefits system made him “nervous about the redistribution” of wealth, and the effects that would have on health.

Asked what he thought of yesterday's budget Professor Marmot said taking some people out of the income tax bracket would "help to some extent but that will be affected by the rise in VAT."

He added: "The regressive nature of consumption tax shows up very clearly in the Office of National Statistics analysis."

But he was positive about the impact his University College London report had had since its release, citing 30 areas that were drawing up local action plans based directly on it and said he was "hopeful that it will not be buried."

He told host Sarah Montague from Radio Four's Today Programme he had heard "very reassuring noises" from the Conservatives and said health minister Anne Milton had told him "we are a different party now, we will not do to your report what was done to the Black report" - a report on health inequalities published in 1980.

Sir Michael also said the proportion of spending on public health should be much higher than the current 4 per cent. He said his report had recommended 7 per cent because 8 per cent just "sounded like doubling it".

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