Nick Ferrari grills Robert Jenrick on Test and Trace failures
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Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick was invited onto LBC where he tried to promote the Government’s Budget and called for “fiscal responsibility” from the public. But host Nick Ferrari quickly turned on the Tory frontbencher after a new report found the coronavirus Test and Trace system had woefully squandered funds allocated to it. Mr Ferrari was furious as the Conservatives, branding them “hopeless”, as the Tories call for responsibility while wasting taxpayers’ money.
A report from the Public Accounts Committee found £37billion was spent on Test and Trace but the system failed in what it set out to do.
The report found schemes were “overstated or not achieved” and outcomes have been “muddled”.
It added expensive contractors were paid on average around £1,000 per day which would cost the taxpayer hundreds of millions.
The Government will set out its Budget on Wednesday with Mr Jenrick doing a media round ahead of the announcement.
But Nick Ferrari quickly pulled the Tory frontbencher up on the report and wanted to know how the public could trust them with the economy following the damning findings.
He said: “You talk about fiscal responsibility, it might be difficult for my listeners to afford any of that to you and your colleagues.
“When we hear that the NHS test and Trace has been an eye-watering waste of taxpayers’ money.
“£37billion worth of funding, much of it muddled, why should we trust you lot with any of our cash?”
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Mr Jenrick said he saw the report but confessed he was not responsible for the Test and Trace system when it was being delivered.
He said he would read the report in full with Mr Ferrari adding: ”You’re put out today to talk about how we’re going to hear about fiscal responsibility and the pound in our pocket is safe with the Conservatives.
“You’ve just wasted £37billion, what’s the point? You lot can’t add up, you’re hopeless.
“You’re not fiscally responsible, you’re fiscally incontinent!”
Mr Jenrick defended the system and said 300 million tests were carried out with 20 million people contacted.
While he said it saved people’s lives, Mr Ferrari read out data that suggests only 11 percent of traces were working.
Mr Jenrick said there were “lessons” to be learned from the report before stating Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s intervention with the furlough scheme saved many people from falling into poverty.
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