A report was issued today by the National Audit Office, outlining the Government’s expenditure in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
Between 31st January and 4th May 2020, the UK Government allocated approximately £124.3 billion to programmes in response to the pandemic, focussed on 5 key areas:
|Support for businesses, including support for retaining jobs, loans and grants||82.2|
|Support for individuals, including benefits and sick pay and support for vulnerable people||19.5|
|Other public services and the wider emergency response, including funding for local government services, education and children’s services||15.8|
|Health and social care measures, covering equipment, testing, services and vaccine development||6.6|
|Other support, including providing the public with information||0.2|
There have been 11 ministerial directions (instructions from ministers telling their department to proceed with a spending proposal) during the outbreak, expedited without the normal full appraisal of value for money.
Notably, health and social care is the second lowest expenditure, with £6.6 billion being spent, compared to £15.8 billion spent on wider emergency responses and funding for local government.
This report is the first to summarise UK government expenditure during the crisis, with more to follow as the crisis develops, and additional investments are made.
The full NAO report is available here.