HC Deb 28 July 2000 vol 354 cc903-5W
Mr. Flynn

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what proportion of Government spending on combating illicit drug misuse has been spent on(a) law enforcement, (b) treatment, (c) harm reduction measures, (d) prevention and (e) research during each of the last 10 years for which figures are available. [132916]

Marjorie Mowlam

The first UK drugs strategy "Tackling Drugs Together" was launched in May 1995 and allocated £8.8 million over three years to Drug Action Teams, £5.9 million on schools drug education for 1995–96, and £1 million in the same year for services for young people at an early stage of drug misuse.

The Government's Comprehensive Spending Review 1998 estimated drug related spending across the UK to be in the region of £1.4 billion per annum, over £1 billion of which was spent on law enforcement measures.

Under the present strategy, "Tackling Drugs To Build A Better Britain", the 1998 Comprehensive Spending Review settlement provided an additional £217 million of resources over three years, as follows: £133 million towards anti-drug measures in the criminal justice system, (of which £60 million covers treatment services in prisons, £12 million for voluntary drug testing in prisons and £61 million towards the piloting and implementation of the Drug Treatment and Testing Orders). £70.5 million towards the funding of new treatment services and improved community care services, (of which health authorities received £50 million for treatment services for young people and local authorities received £20.5 million to improve access to services and increase the numbers in treatment programmes). £3 million allocated to support cross-departmental development of more effective drugs education work. £6 million provided for new research programmes. £4.5 million provided to Drug Action Teams to pursue anti-drugs measures at local level. No extra resources were allocated for enforcement. We will be making further announcements on funding to: encourage young people to resist drugs; help communities to protect themselves; provide treatment to help people overcome addiction; and to help stifle the availability of drugs in Britain.

Helen Jackson

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what is the effect of the outcome of Spending Review 2000 on funding for the United Kingdom Anti-drugs Strategy; and if she will make a statement. [133800]

Marjorie Mowlam

The Chancellor last week announced, as a result of Spending Review 2000, increased funding over the next three years to support the delivery of the Government's challenging targets for tackling drug misuse. This means that expenditure targeted at the causes of drug misuse will increase from some £700 million in 2000–01 to £870 million in 2001–02, £931 million in 2002–03 and £996 million in 2003–04. This funding will enable the Government to secure implementation of the plans and targets developed from the recommendations of the cross-departmental review of action against illegal drugs, led by myself and the UK Anti-Drugs Co-ordinator.

This increased investment will be centred around treatment and prevention and will allow us to underpin the initiatives outlined in the Anti-Drugs Co-ordinator's second Annual Plan, which is published today. These include measures such as funding increased provision of drug treatment to underpin the work of the new National Treatment Agency and increasing provision of treatment for drug misusing offenders. We will also continue to support work with our international partners to reduce the availability of drugs, as outlined by the Prime Minister at the recent G8 conference. The UK law enforcement and intelligence agencies will work closely with their counterparts in the key drug producing and transit countries, seeking to tackle drugs trafficking as close to source as possible and disrupt the international flows of money which support the drugs trade.

These plans will make a major contribution to addressing the Government's wider agenda of tackling crime, social exclusion and ill health and will help drive down the huge costs to society caused by drugs.

The National Plan preserves the balance of objectives across all the four aims of our Strategy; helping young people to avoid drug misuse through education, protecting communities from drug-related anti-social and criminal behaviour, enabling people to receive treatment for drugs problems as well as reducing the availability of illegal drugs.

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