In response to a YouGov poll finding that eight out of 10 people would prefer the Government to prioritise health and wellbeing over economic growth during the coronavirus crisis (and six in 10 would still want the government to pursue health and wellbeing ahead of growth after the pandemic has subsided), Lib Dem MP Layla Moran has repeated her call on the Government to:
- Consider wellbeing metrics and indicators as well as economic ones (eg GDP) in all decision-making
- Abandon policies which would cause harm to our health
- Introduce a New Zealand-style wellbeing budget
Lib Dem MP Layla Moran said: “People want the Government to prioritise health and wellbeing, and that’s no surprise. Coronavirus has caused a surge in anxiety and we face a national mental health crisis.
“We need to rebuild a healthy and resilient country to power economic growth. We can do this if people’s health and wellbeing is considered at the very highest level. In practice, this means considering wellbeing indicators and metrics alongside GDP in all Government decision making, and abandoning policies that will harm our health.
“We also need a ringfenced budget for spending on initiatives that seek to improve wellbeing. This already exists in New Zealand, where more than $1bn has been invested in children’s wellbeing, over $450m allocated for mental health workers and another $200m has been spent on survivors of domestic and sexual violence."
Recent Office for National Statistics reports also show that nearly half of adults in the UK reported “high” anxiety levels between 20 and 30 March 2020.