We store cookies on your device to make sure we give you the best experience on this website. I'm fine with this - Turn cookies off
Switch to an accessible version of this website which is easier to read. (requires cookies)

Where is our money going?

October 12, 2020 11:20 AM

p02z (Photo by Cytonn Photography on Unsplash)Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran has joined a cross party group including Green MP Caroline Lucas and Labour's Debbie Abrahams and the Good Law Project, a non-profit-making organisation to launch legal action against the government over its failure to disclose details of its spending on contracts related to the pandemic.

The government has failed to account for £3bn spent on private contracts since the start of lockdown, new figures show.

The government is accused of breaching the law and its own guidance amongst mounting concerns over the government's coronavirus procurement processes.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has disclosed £11bn worth of contracts have been awarded by the department since April, related predominantly to coronavirus, but new analysis by Tussell shows that over £3bn worth of these contracts have not been made public.

The government has 21 days to respond to the judicial review proceedings.

Jolyon Maugham QC, director of Good Law Project, said: "What we know about the government's procurement practices during this pandemic gives real cause for concern.

"Huge sums of public money have been awarded to companies with no discernible expertise.

"Sometimes the main qualification seems to be a political connection with key government figures.

"And I have seen evidence that government is sometimes paying more to buy the same product from those with political connections.

"We don't know what else there is to discover because the government is deliberately keeping the public in the dark.

Layla Moran has commented "It is totally unacceptable for the government to avoid scrutiny during a public health crisis.

"As we enter a predicted second wave we need to be able to take stock of what has worked and what hasn't to protect as many lives as possible.

"Government must let parliament do its job and properly scrutinise their decisions."

The legal challenge is being crowdfunded with the support of 38 Degrees for whom Ellie Gellard said: "The public needs to know where taxpayers's money has been spent in our ongoing battle against coronavirus so that we can be sure those who have been paid, deliver what they promised."That's why thousands of members of the public have chipped in to help get the answers we deserve, transparency is needed to restore public trust in the government's approach."