Storing COVID-related PPE is costing taxpayers around £3.3m a week, government says – as households feel the cost of living crisis | UK News
Storing COVID-related personal protective equipment (PPE) is costing taxpayers around £3.3million a week, the government has revealed, as households struggle to make ends meet amid the coronavirus crisis. Cost of life.
Deputy Head of Labor Angela Raynerwho asked for an estimate of storage costs, says the sum equates to £471,429 of taxpayers’ money being spent every day.
Work says his analysis shows the government’s “waste” on PPE throughout the pandemic would be enough to save every household in the UK over £310 amid booming finances.
Ms Rayner’s written question also revealed that £5.8 million of taxpayers’ money had been spent on PPE storage in China at the end of 2021.
Those battling the cost of living crisis would be “outraged” if the sum was “wasted” on PPE storage costs, Ms Rayner said.
“As families struggle to make their paychecks last the month, they will be rightly outraged to learn that their hard-earned tax dollars are wasted on huge costs of storing PPE at the next end of the world.
“The government is throwing the public’s money down the drain with its useless cronyism adding insult to injury as it raises taxes on working people amid a cost of living crisis.”
Ms Rayner had written to the government asking them “to release an estimate of PPE storage and warehousing costs from August 2021 to date”.
In response, Health Minister Edward Argar said: “The information is not kept in the requested format. The department reports storage costs on a quarterly basis based on billed expenditure.
“Between September 1, 2021 and November 30, 2021, according to the latest information available, the total cost of storing personal protective equipment in the UK was £72.4 million and £5.8 million for storage in China.
“We estimate current storage costs at around £3.3m per week. This is an 82% reduction from October 2020.”
Many people in Britain are facing rising energy bills, council tax and the effects of a National Insurance tax hike – as well as inflation hit a 30-year high of 7% last month.
According to new figures released by the Office for National Statistics this week, almost nine out of 10 adults say they have seen their cost of living increase – compared to 62% in November last year.
Recently, supermarket groups Asda and Morrisons announced efforts to help struggling buyers during the cost of living crisis.
Asda, Britain’s third-biggest supermarket after Tesco and Sainsbury’s, said it would invest more than £73million to keep prices of more than 100 essential items low until the end of the year.
Items include fresh fruits, vegetables, fresh meat and frozen foods.
Morrisons, the country’s fourth-largest supermarket, said it had cut prices on more than 500 products, including cereals, cooking sauces, chicken and sausages as well as flour, bread and ham.
Last week, Downing Street confirmed Boris Johnson will chair a committee in a bid to tackle the cost of living crisis “in the next weeks”.
But the Labor leader Mr Keir Starmer reiterated his call for an “emergency budget, not a Cabinet meeting” to deal with the rising costs facing households.
He told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday that this emergency budget should include a one-off tax on oil and gas companies to help “at least” reduce energy bills.
“We’re not talking about taxing the profits they expected to make. It’s the profits they didn’t expect to make,” Sir Keir said.
“We would then use this to reduce energy bills by up to £600 by those in need, using this directly for energy bills.
“I tell you – £600 help with the energy bills of those in need will be desperately needed and welcome across the country.”
Speaking of the increase in National Insurance contributions, he added: “Nor will we introduce a self-destructive tax at the worst possible time.”
Sir Keir said the cost of living was the ‘number one issue’ on the doorstep during the local election campaign, adding the Tories had ‘said absolutely nothing’ about it.
But on the same platform, Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng voiced strong opposition to a windfall tax on oil and gas companies.
“I’ve never been a fan of windfall taxes – I’ve been very clear about that publicly. I think they discourage investment,” he said.