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£9.9bn of UK Government PPE spending in pandemic written down, accounts reveal

25 Jan 2024 2 minute read
Picture by DFID – UK Department for International Development. (CC BY 2.0)

Some £9.9 billion of the £13.6 billion spent on personal protective equipment (PPE) has been written down because it was unusable or its value has crashed since the pandemic.

The Department of Health and Social Care’s accounts published on Thursday said some items were defective or not suitable, while others will not be used before their expiry date.

The accountability report by the National Audit Office (NAO) said that the department plans to dispose of “nearly all” of its current PPE stock held in warehouses and containers.

Gareth Davies, the head of the NAO, said the majority of the PPE recorded was of “insignificant value”.

He said that “ongoing efforts to detect, prevent and recover fraud must continue, improving public confidence that this drain on the public finances is being tackled effectively and efficiently”.

Downing Street defended the losses by stressing the havoc that Covid-19 wreaked.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s official spokesman said: “It’s important not to forget the circumstances in which the UK and countries globally found themselves during a pandemic when globally PPE was in extremely short supply.

“The costs as a result increased significantly and the Government took the decision very transparently to do everything possible to secure protective equipment for frontline health and care workers, that was right.”


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Jeff
Jeff
1 month ago

Downing Street saying havoc covid wreaked. Calling that rubbish. The UK and specifically the Tory party inflicted Brexit and then had the biggest Bunch of chancers in government. Boris, serial liar and cheat, was never suited to power, he was and remains incapable. Then we had Cummings, that person that edited a blog to try to show he predicted covid (eye test anyone?) then we had the spads and tank tanks and very importantly this mix meant a useless incapable power that was taken to the cleaners. This was and is a Tory mess. Whe. the UK needed good governance,… Read more »

Karl
Karl
1 month ago

People need to be charged with theft of the public purse. This level is disgusting. Meanwhile they inforce even more austerity on us as they keep pursuing the brexit nobody voted for.

hdavies15
hdavies15
1 month ago

Written down ? more like written off. It’s all likely to be useless but they’ll admit it in instalments as if that makes any difference.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago

£9,900,000,000…while the banking wiz kid Sunak was Chancellor of the Exchequer…

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

10,000 Eat Out to Help Out fatalities, £10 billion PPE, £37 billion Test and Trace but a mere £240 million in aid for Rwandan lawyers and politicians is supposedly what does for him…

If he could dance his way on to Strictly he would probably save his premiership.

I blame the cumulative effect of lead poisoning of the brains of the UK population over several generations between 1920 and 1999…

Pushchairs and prams being at the same height as car exhausts…

Gareth
Gareth
1 month ago

And still the Tory’s tell us, with a straight face, that there is no money for the NHS for pay increases, or recruitment, no money for school repairs, or infrastructure repairs, as they all laugh at us, all they way to the bank. Michelle Mone and all the others, living the highlife with no comeback, or any chance of a criminal case being brought.

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