THE BUNGLED Test & Trace system will cost ministers £10billion despite STILL failing to track a quarter of infected people, the Treasury has revealed.
Since March, the Treasury has unlocked a massive £48.5 billion to spend on public services – including ploughing huge sums of money into the track & trace system which is still failing to catch coronavirus cases.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak promised in his March budget to give the NHS and other public services “whatever support they need” to cope with the coronavirus crisis.
The Treasury explains the huge spending on Test & Trace by saying it is crucial to “support the unlocking of the economy”.
But the bill for the contact tracing dwarfs money set aside for schools – £1.2 billion to help fund catch up premiums for students who have been left behind after classrooms closed.
Only 77 per cent of cases who test positive for coronavirus and were transferred to the NHS test and trace system were reached by tracers and asked to share information of their close contacts.
Of the contacts who may be infected with coronavirus, only 70 per cent were reached and asked to self-isolate – down from 74 per cent the previous week.
That was down almost 10 per cent than the previous week.
The NHS app was ditched by the Government after it failed to work – but the project still cost the taxpayer £12million.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the UK would partner with Apple & Google in their efforts to launch a working contact tracing app.
But Baroness Dido Harding, in charge of the test and trace programme, admitted last month an app may not be ready until Autumn.
An app would allow the economy to open up safely, because contact tracers would be able to track down people who were near a case of coronavirus case – even if they were strangers.
Treasury spending has blown to epic proportions during the coronavirus pandemic and costs on public services is £32.5 billion more than the Office for Budget Responsibility forecast.
The spending on the test and trace is more than double Treasury spending to support social care at local government level which was billed at £3.7 billion.
£600million of this was to bolster infection control in care homes, as the deadly virus swept through the homes of the country’s most vulnerable.