Crucial public health contracts in Wales during the pandemic were based on value for money and ability to deliver – not who had Minister’s mobile numbers, the official public spending watchdog has found. As the Senedd election heats up, we cannot risk the Welsh Tories opening up public contracts to their cronies.
The independent audit office criticised the UK Government’s approach to procurement in England, which showed that there was a VIP access route for those recommended by minister’s contacts. And being put onto the VIP lane for priority access meant that they were ten times more likely to get a government contract. In England, £2bn worth of pandemic contracts have gone to friends and donors of the Conservative Party.
This did not happen in Wales with Welsh Labour. The Auditor General for Wales found “In contrast to the position described by the NAO [National Audit Office] in England, we saw no evidence of a priority being given to potential suppliers depending on who referred them.”
In a new video released on Welsh Labour’s Facebook Page, Shadow Cabinet Office Minister Rachel Reeves and Vaughan Gething, Welsh Labour’s Health Minister, speak about this scandal in England and how Welsh Labour have been more open and transparent in government.
On Welsh Labour’s better approach, Shadow Cabinet Office Minister Rachel Reeves says:
“At every stage in the pandemic the UK government have outsourced essential public services – but here in Wales you’ve done them in house because you know that our public services are integrated into the fabric of our communities in a way that big outsourcing companies are never going to be.
“That’s why I think you’ve done so much better here in Wales – in tracing people who have come into contact with the virus and then encouraging them to isolate. If we had done that in England we could have done a lot better in handling the pandemic.
On Tory favours to friends in England, Rachel Reeves says:
“David Cameron was able to text the chancellor, who then arranged ten meetings for Greensill with treasury officials to try and help them access taxpayer money through a series of loans. It’s just not right because of who they know are able to get special treatment.
“It is so wrong in a pandemic to behave that way, rather than doing what is in the interests of us as a country.”
Vaughan Gething, Welsh Labour Health Minister, says:
“We’ve got such a big choice here in Wales in the coming weeks. The values of the Welsh Labour government – putting the public first in steering us through the pandemic.
“Or the alternative of the Tories. We can make Wales a fairer, greener place for the future – or we can go backwards with the Tories.”