Alzheimer’s Research UK disappointed as pledge to double dementia research funding omitted from Spring Budget

04 March 2021

Alzheimer’s Research UK is disappointed there is no mention of the government honouring its commitment to double its funding for dementia research in the Chancellor’s Spring Budget announced on Wednesday.

The UK’s leading dementia research charity was hoping to hear how the government plans to deliver on its 2019 election promise to increase funding to over £160 million during the announcement, but with no information forthcoming the wait goes on. Attention will now be on how the government’s next spending review can deliver on this commitment.

The COVID-19 pandemic has clearly brought significant new challenges that need urgent government attention and support, but Alzheimer’s Research UK is determined to keep holding the government to its election pledge so we can bring about the life-changing treatments we need for this condition.

A petition launched by Alzheimer’s Research UK towards the end of last year, calling on the government to act on its election promise, has secured more than 40,000 signatures.

David Thomas, Head of Policy at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:

“It is disappointing that the Chancellor did not outline any plans for the government to do what it promised at the 2019 election and double its funding into dementia research.

“We completely understand there are significant issues that urgently need to be addressed as a result of the difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and it is right that the government takes steps to address these challenges.

“However, it must be noted that people with dementia have been hit disproportionately hard by the pandemic. According to the Office of National Statistics, people with dementia make up over a quarter of all those who have died from COVID-19 since March 2020. Research has also come under threat, with nearly a third of UK dementia researchers having had their funding suspended or cut as a result of COVID-19. Investment in medical research is a vital part of securing the UK’s economic recovery, post-pandemic.

“We have welcomed the government’s commitment to tackling dementia as set out in the Conservative 2019 manifesto. Delivering on the government’s pledge to double funding for dementia research is needed now more than ever so that we can make the breakthroughs required to bring about a life-changing treatment for people with dementia by 2025.

“We encourage anyone who has not already done so to sign our petition urging the government to deliver on its election pledge.”

Sign the petition