'How do you justify consultants on £7,000 a day for this test and trace shambles?'

15 October 2020, 08:18 | Updated: 15 October 2020, 10:06

'How do you justify £1m wages for test and trace consultants'

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

'How do you justify paying consultants £7,360 a day for this test and trace shambles?' Nick Ferrari questions a Government Minister.

With the news some private sector consultants are being paid day rates of around £7,000 by the Government to help with its coronavirus test and trace system LBC's Nick Ferrari challenged a Government Minister.

"Private sector consultants are being paid the equivalent of £1m wages for this shambles, how do you justify that?" Was the question from Nick to Business Minister Nadhim Zahawi.

The Business Minister urged people to consider the whole test and trace system and said: "Parts of the system are working really well."

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Citing 17 million downloads of the NHS Test and Trace app the Minister said the French President had complimented it because the French app has not worked as well.

When Nick pressed Mr Zahawi one the wages of some private consultants, branding the £7,000 a day wage packets as the "price of failure" asking "how can you possibly justify that?"

"I haven't seen the report you're asking me about," was the reply from the Government Minister.

But Mr Zahawi said he was not able to comment as he had not seen the details and was not aware of what the consultants were actually doing.

"Test and trace will be one of the main topics at any public enquiry."

Sky News said it has seen documents revealing Boston Consulting Group (BCG) was paid about £10 million for around 40 consultants to provide four months' work between the end of April and late August.

The broadcaster said the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) received a 10 to 15% discount from BCG, whose day rates for public sector work range from £2,400 to £7,360 for the most senior consultants.

The DHSC said efforts to set up NHS Test and Trace required it to work with public and private sector partners, with "every pound spent" going towards keeping people safe and ramping up testing capacity.

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