Government spends £770,000 a day to store PPE items in China

"This is absolutely astonishing. £770,000 a day, £280 million a year? What a waste of money which could be used to invest in our NHS."


The government is squandering taxpayers’ cash, spending £770,000 a day to store personal protective equipment (PPE) items in China, which amounts to more than £280 million a year.

A Parliamentary answer by Tory Minister of State for Health and Secondary Care, Will Quince, revealed just how much money the government is paying to store PPE equipment overseas.

Asked by Labour MP Nick Smith how PPE is stored and how much this is costing a day, Quince answered: “The majority is stored in sites in the United Kingdom in containers, warehouses and supplier storage and approximately 120 million items are currently stored in China. The cost of storage is £770,000 per day.”

Reacting to the news, Cat Hobbs, Director of campaign group We Own It, said: “This is absolutely astonishing. £770,000 a day, £280 million a year? What a waste of money which could be used to invest in our NHS. The government needs to plan properly for pandemics like covid, including storing the items we might need quick access to in this country.

“Why can’t the UK manage to store its own PPE instead of outsourcing storage to China? If the government wasn’t so hellbent on selling off assets, the NHS would have more buildings, land and resources and there would be no question of turning elsewhere. The mindset behind this is very strange. Taking back control surely means the UK being self reliant and enabling the NHS to care for people in an emergency.”

Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward

Picture credit: NIH Image gallery: Creative Commons)

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