The Commons Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has hit out at the government over the unusable personal protective equipment (PPE).
The Committee are “concerned that despite spending over £10bn on supplies, the PPE stockpile is not fit for purpose.”
Brits will have no choice but to pay back an estimated £372bn Covid bill which will expose taxpayers with “significant financial risks for decades to come.”
PAC Chair Dame Meg Hillier said, “With eye-watering sums of money spent on Covid measures so far, the government needs to be clear, now, how this will be managed going forward, and over what period of time.
“The ongoing risk to the taxpayer will run for 20-years on things like arts and culture recovery loans, let alone the other new risks that departments across government must quickly learn to manage.”
The government are under increasing pressure to bring forward the “promised public inquiry” into the the pandemic, which will most likely last for many years cost taxpayers more billions which is supposed to start next spring.
PAC are calling for the Covid recovery plan to start in the autumn and the report said it’s “clear that government cannot wait for the review, before learning important lessons.”
Dame Meg said, “If coronavirus is with us for a long time, the financial hangover could leave future generations with a big headache.”
Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner said the cross-party report was more evidence of the Tories’ failures.
Rayner said the pandemic “resulted in tens of thousands of avoidable deaths and saw eye-watering sums of taxpayer’s money wasted on unsafe PPE and contracts handed out to their mates” and calling for the public inquiry to start “immediately.”
Labour’s Deputy Leader added, “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.”