A post in the style of a ‘wanted’ poster showing a mocked up picture of former NHS Test and Trace boss Baroness Dido Harding has been shared on social media.
The poster reads: “WANTED: In connection with the disappearance of £37 billion of public money”.
As we have written many times before, £37 billion was the budget for NHS Test and Trace in its first two years—not what has actually been spent.
The government allocated a total of £22 billion in 2020/21 to the scheme, and a further £15 billion in 2021/22, or £37 billion in total.
The most recent figures produced by the National Audit Office (NAO) show that, as of the June 2022 update, £25.7 billion had reportedly been spent on NHS Test and Trace as a whole, with an estimated lifetime cost of £29.3 billion.
The programme included Covid-19 testing services (accounting for the vast majority of spending), ‘contain’ activities such as identifying local outbreaks, contact tracing services and the Covid-19 contact tracing app.
Image courtesy of Annie Spratt