Covid-19: Strategy Debate

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Department: Cabinet Office

Covid-19: Strategy

Sir Edward Leigh Excerpts
Monday 11th May 2020

(4 months, 2 weeks ago)

Commons Chamber
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Cabinet Office
The Prime Minister - Hansard

Thank you, Mr Speaker, for getting me to my feet faster.

The hon. Lady raises a very important point. I will try to give the House more details of what we are doing, but I can tell her that so far, in spite of all the difficulties that I know people have experienced with PPE, it is the case that we have had no national stock outs or absolute shortages of any item of PPE. We are continuing to turn the situation round and to get billions of items to where they need to go.

Sir Edward Leigh Portrait Sir Edward Leigh (Gainsborough) (Con) [V] - Hansard

The phased approach of the Government to protect public safety is obviously correct, but we are now faced with perhaps the biggest recession in hundreds of years and an unparalleled increase in the public sector. Will the Prime Minister ensure that, whereas in the past these increases were often accompanied by waste, fraud and incompetence at the expense of the taxpayer, he puts the most effective public accounts controls in place to protect the taxpayer? To pay for all this, will he ensure that we get Britain back to work and, where it is possible to have social distancing, that people are encouraged to work?

The Prime Minister - Hansard

Yes, and of course we will have effective accounting of the investments that we are making to protect the public—the furloughing scheme and all the many other expenditures we are obliged to make—but I think my right hon. Friend will also understand that the biggest single economic risk we face at the moment is the risk that the virus should surge back again and trigger a second spike. That is why we all need to work together, as I am sure everybody understands, to continue to depress the R, keep the virus under control and stay alert.