Ministers wasted £200m of taxpayers’ money on cancelled vaccine order
Ministers paid more than £200m of taxpayers’ money as a deposit for 100m doses of a Covid vaccine which never arrived.
In financial results published by Valneva on Thursday, the French vaccine maker revealed that its revenues had jumped by 216 per cent, boosted by a €253.3m (£214) payment for a terminated agreement with the UK’s government, the Times first reported.
When the UK cancelled its €1.4bn contract with Valneva in September, the company said ministers had thrown it “under the bus” as shares in the company plummeted by more than 45 per cent. Valneva is yet to bring its Covid-19 to the market.
Wes Streeting, the shadow health secretary, told the Times that the mega expense was “yet another example of wasteful and careless spending” by the government.
“The Tories have already lost billions of taxpayers’ money to fraud and waste during the pandemic,” he continued. “The British public are paying the price… in higher taxes.”
News of the blunder comes after the government admitted that £10bn of spending on personal protective equipment had been written off during the pandemic. Millions of pounds were wasted on unusable equipment which had passed its expiry date, while taxpayers paid extra in the scramble for masks and gowns at the start of the pandemic. An estimated £130m of taxpayers’ money was used to back up covid-loans dished out to questionable businesses.
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