The Financial Times has recently reported (paywall article) the Welsh Government saved hundreds of millions of pounds by using public sector programmes and services during the pandemic. One of those services was the Test, Trace, Protect programme developed and delivered by NHS Wales and managed by DHCW.
According to the article, the Welsh Government received almost £1.1bn for contact tracing and PPE in 2020/21. Cardiff University’s Wales Governance Centre estimated that the government actually spent £533m on those areas. That was £158 per person, 48 per cent lower than in England.
The money saved has been used to support small businesses with the cost of the pandemic. Wales has exempted small and medium-sized companies in the leisure and hospitality sector from business rates until next April, while those in England are paying one third of their usual rates from July 1 and full rates from April 1 2022.