Rishi Sunak Oversaw Nearly £30 Billion Of Whitehall Waste As Chancellor, Labour Claims

"A badge of shame for the prime minister and his failing Tory government".
Rishi Sunak when he was Chancel
Rishi Sunak when he was Chancel
Aaron Chown via PA Media

Rishi Sunak oversaw nearly £30 billion of Whitehall “waste” when he was Chancellor of the Exchequer, Labour has claimed.

The party has published a dossier which it says shows 100 examples of public money being squandered on the now-prime minister’s watch.

Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves said it was “a badge of shame for the prime minister and his failing Tory government”.

Among the examples listed in the Labour dossier are a £7.94bn overspend on PPE during the pandemic; £3.46bn of wrongly paid out Covid furlough money; £2.3bn on “wasted Covid vaccines”; £1.2bn in NHS fraud, bribery and corruption; and £1bn in Covid business grant fraud.

Overall, Labour says £26.8 billion of public money was wasted between 2019/20 and 2021/22.

Sunak took over as chancellor from Sajid Javid in 2020 and resigned last year in protest at Boris Johnson’s leadership.

Reeves said Labour would create an “Office for Value for Money” to root out Whitehall waste if they win the next election.

“The man whose job it was for three years to scrutinise this spending never lifted a finger to stop the money being thrown away, and in many cases, ignored direct warnings of the risks,” she said.

“Over those three years, billions of pounds that could have transformed Britain were instead handed over to fraudsters and crony contractors.

“This dossier is a badge of shame for the prime minister and his failing Tory government.

“Labour will treat every pound of taxpayer money with the respect it deserves.”

Conservative Party chairman Greg Hands MP said: “The fact that Keir Starmer thinks that spending on the vaccine rollout – which would have faced deadly delays if we listened to his calls to join the EU’s vaccine scheme – is ‘waste’, just goes to show that Labour are unfit to govern.

“Labour lost £31 billion to fraud and error in their last year in government alone – significantly more than the numbers they’ve managed to inflate over three years for their latest dodgy dossier.

“In contrast, we are focusing on things that matter to the British people - halving inflation, growing the economy, reducing debt, cutting the waiting lists and stopping the boats.”


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