Man­u­fac­tur­ers turn fire on min­is­ters for hand­ing PPE deals to over­seas sup­pli­ers

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Summer Statement - By Alan Tovey

‘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.

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