Chi Onwurah, MP for Newcastle Central , today highlighted another broken promise from the Tory government. The Conservative Manifesto in 2019 contained a promise to double R&D spending on dementia research, yet the reality is that government spending on dementia research has decreased. Chi had asked a written question to the government, the response showed that total research spending on dementia had dropped from £112.9million to £104.7million from 2018/19 to 2019/20.
With UK cases set to increase by 75% by 2050, now is not the time to be cutting back on dementia research. From the despatch box, Chi asked:
“Would the Minister confirm that dementia R&D spend has gone down since his government took office?”
The Minister, George Freeman MP, did not deny spending had decreased, stating “we are in the process of allocating money” without specifying whether this would meet the manifesto commitment to doubling dementia research spending.
Labour are committed to doubling spending on dementia research.
Chi Said: “Dementia is something that threatens all of our futures and imposes huge private and public costs. The UK is particularly strong in life sciences and dementia research, now is the time to be accelerating investment to help us deal with the predicted growth in dementia cases. The government has instead broken another promise to the British people and scientific community, risking our future security and prosperity for the sake of a short-sighted cost cutting exercise.”
“Many researchers funded by charitable institutions lost funding during Covid as charitable fund-raising was hit and despite repeated calls the Government provided little support. To learn that Government funding was also cut at this time is particularly concerning.”
Evidence of rising dementia cases: https://www.thelancet.com/action/showPdf?pii=S2468-2667%2821%2900249-8
Link to video of question:: https://www.facebook.com/chi.onwurah/videos/949052482662521
Conservative Manifesto https://www.conservatives.com/our-plan/conservative-party-manifesto-2019 , page 12.
Parliamentary question and answer on dementia research spending:
Question from Chi: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much the Government has invested in dementia research (a) since 2018, (b) in the financial year ended 5th April 2021, and (c) in the current financial year.
Answer (George Freeman): 5 January 2022
Government spending on dementia
|National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)||£31.6||£29|
|Medical Research Council (MRC)||£45.2.||£42.1|
|Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)||£6.1||£4.6|
|Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBBSRC) on neuroscience||£30||£29|
Figures for the current financial year 2021/22 not yet available.
Link to question and answer: