Britain pays China £23m a year to store PPE
Tons of personal protective equipment (PPE) for Britain’s healthcare workers is being stored by China at a cost of £23 million a year.
And the bill for taxpayers has nearly doubled in a year; In the first year of the pandemic the Government paid China £12 million to store PPE, which shot up to £23 million in 2021-22, Health Minister Maria Caulfield disclosed in an answer to Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting.
The Government has 2.4 billion items of PPE, thought to be worth more than £1 billion, stored in units and warehouses in China.
Earlier this month, Ms Caulfield said the current cost of storing PPE in China is £571,742 per week.
The total cost of PPE storage, including in the UK, was £267 million in the past year – up from £168 million spent in the first year of the pandemic.
Asked why China was storing Britain’s PPE and why that cost has doubled year on year, the Department of Health declined to answer.