The UK Government implemented an extensive range of measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The final costs of the government’s response are large and uncertain at this time and will depend on the continuing health and economic impacts of the pandemic. At the time we took evidence for this inquiry it was on the basis of the Comptroller and Auditor General’s report in May, which set out that, between 31 January and 4 May 2020, the government made more than 500 announcements on its response to the pandemic, and had announced £124.3 billion of government programmes, initiatives and spending commitments. That £124.3 billion included: £6.6 billion for health and social care measures; £82.2 billion for financial support to businesses, including support for retaining jobs, loans and grants; £19.5 billion for individuals, including benefits and sick pay and support for vulnerable people; and £15.8 billion for other public services and the wider emergency response, including funding for local government services, education and children’s services.
Published: 23 July 2020