Outsourced test and trace system in England costs twice as much as in Wales

Business of the House
15th April 2021

Kevin Brennan Labour, Cardiff West
May we have a debate on the dangers to the taxpayer of incompetent capitalist government? Cardiff University’s Wales Governance Centre has pointed out that the Test and Trace system in England, which has been outsourced to private companies, cost twice as much as the system in Wales where local government has been used.

I had a very disturbing report from one of my constituents that he had received the test results of two children from England, despite the fact that he has lived in Cardiff for 35 years. When I contacted the Department of Health and Social Care, they told me that it was probably because the wrong mobile phone and email details had been entered, and that no process was in place to amend customer details. The Government have allocated £37 billion to cover the cost of the Test and Trace system over the next two years, and it cannot even amend incorrectly entered customer details!

The Leader of the House talked about the unacceptable face of capitalism earlier, about British Gas’s behaviour, but what about the incompetent face of capitalism?

Jacob Rees-Mogg Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons

I note that of the tests carried out in Wales, 64% have been provided by Her Majesty’s Government. Had we left it to the Welsh Government and the public sector in Wales, only 36% of tests would have been carried out. I think that shows the effectiveness of Her Majesty’s Government—the United Kingdom Government—at getting things done. What the hon. Gentleman is proposing is that things do not get done. I, for one, am in favour of action, not of dither and delay.