FAST FIVE: UK Taxpayers To Face COVID Bill For Decades To Come, MPs Warn
Some 8.4 billion on order from other parts of the world have still not arrived in the UK.
But MPs were concerned the stockpile was costing around £6.7 million ($9.2 million) a week to store, with potential waste levels “unacceptably high.” The report said there were 10,000 shipping containers of PPE still to be unpacked by May this year, but 2.1 billion items of PPE had already been found unsuitable for use in medical settings.
The committee said this cost more than £2 billion ($2.75 billion) of taxpayers' money and over five times the estimate of PPE unfit for purpose given to MPs by DHSC in January 2021.
For the excess PPE that was suitable for medical use, the MPs were concerned the government is yet to create any robust plans for repurposing and distributing this essential stock in a way that ensures value for money and protects staff and patients.
“We have worked tirelessly to source life-saving PPE to protect health and care staff, and we have delivered over 12.7 billion items to the frontline at record speed.” But Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner said the cross-party report is more evidence of the Tories' failures during the pandemic that she says “resulted in tens of thousands of avoidable deaths and saw eye-watering sums of taxpayers' money wasted on unsafe PPE and contracts handed out to their mates.” “We cannot wait until next year for the public inquiry to start and ministers cannot kick it into the long grass and cover up their failures by refusing to hand over information hidden in personal email accounts,” she added.