Manufacturers turn fire on ministers for handing PPE deals to overseas suppliers
‘The NAO is examining how PPE was bought by ministers’
MANUFACTURING chiefs have hit out at ministers for wasting taxpayer money on protective gear shipped in from abroad at vast expense, after figures revealed £15bn of PPE spending.
Factory owners who had offers for help turned down in favour of overseas suppliers said the cash would have been better spent in Britain.
The Department of Health was unable to say how much of its total PPE bill had gone to foreign manufacturers.
However, insiders said much of the kit was provided by companies abroad, often in China, and there were several cases where this equipment turned out to be useless.
Labour MP Meg Hillier, chairman of the House of Commons public accounts committee, described the PPE purchasing as a “systemic failure”.
She said: “There should have been better planning. We rely on overseas supply chains for PPE and that works in a normal global market but the pandemic meant that market collapsed.”
The National Audit Office is now examining how PPE was purchased by ministers and is expected to report in the autumn.