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Monday, October 19, 2020

The scandalous cost of England's failing test and trace system

The Mirror reports that some of the consultants involved with the Government's failing test and trace system are receiving £7,000 a day from public coffers:

Last week, Sky News said it had seen documents revealing Boston Consulting Group (BCG) was paid about £10 million for around 40 consultants to provide four months’ work between the end of April and late August.

The broadcaster said the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) received a 10 to 15% discount from BCG, whose day rates for public sector work range from £2,400 to £7,360 for the most senior consultants.

This is despite the fact that the test and trace system has been a key failure in the Government's plan to contain the coronavirus. There has been heavy criticism of the profits it has created for private companies while failing to deliver comprehensive support.

Serco, one of the outsourcing companies involved in the programme, has said it would consider paying a dividend to shareholders after the government contract helped boost its profits. It is no surprise therefore that shares in Serco surged by 18% on Friday after it said it expected to make an underlying profit for the year of between £160m and £165m.

This scandal comes on top of the many UK government failures in seeking to contain this pandemic. It cannot be right that, while thousands of people face losing their jobs because of measures put in place to control the virus, companies like this are raking in the cash off the back of the crisis.
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