How To Spend £12 Billion

Without Wasting It On A Track And Trace System Which Doesn’t Work

The Green Party
3 min readOct 29, 2020

Our Government has handed over £12bn to private companies for a test and trace system which doesn’t work, reaching fewer than 60% of contacts.

Twelve billion pounds. That’s a lot of zeroes, for a system which seems to have been built on an Excel spreadsheet and plagued by massive holes in data.

Here’s just one way they could have spent the money instead…

£2k pay rise for all NHS staff

We’ve all been showing our love for the NHS this year, and 85% of us believe NHS workers should have a pay rise.

Giving every single NHS worker a £2k pay rise would cost £2.8bn.

Total £2.8bn

Run a UBI trial in a major city

Covid-19 has exposed the cruelty and inadequacy of our welfare system like never before. The future is a universal basic income.

We could run a UBI trial in a major city which replaced the entire tax and benefits system for £60m.

Total: £2.86bn

Plug the funding black hole for rough sleepers

The Government is offering just £12m to support rough sleepers this winter, which is even less than they gave last year.

Local authorities have a £1bn black hole in funding for homing rough sleepers. We could fill that.


Keep Universal Credit at the higher rate

The extra £20 a week for claimants of Universal Credit has been a lifeline to those of us who need it most.

The Government is going to take it away. Keeping it will cost £7.7bn.

Total: £11.56bn

Pay councils what was promised for walking and cycling

Councils were promised £225m for pop up bike lanes, wider pavements and low traffic neighbourhoods.

Only £45m of that has been given out. Let’s hand out the other £180m.

Total £11.74bn

Create a new, rewilded National Park

We have all learned how important nature and Green space is to us each year.

£100m would buy us a new national park the size of Manhattan, and let’s put aside another £50m to rewild and maintain it.

Total: £11.89bn

…and still do test and trace properly.

In Germany, they spent just £62m on an app which actually works.

Total: £11.95bn

This is just one example of how you could spend that sort of cash. There’s plenty of money to put an effective test and trace system in place while making life better for everyone.

It’s just about making the right choices.

How would you have spent £12 billion?

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