Thursday 10 December 2020 / 10:04 AM Rachel Reeves

Labour calls for urgent clarity on government contracts handed to companies linked to tax havens

New analysis by Labour today reveals that 10 Covid-contracts, worth over £470 million in total, have been handed to companies either listed in tax havens or with a parent company listed in a tax haven.

The figures reveal PPE procured through companies listed everywhere from Malta to Mauritius, and Luxembourg to Dubai.

It also comes just weeks after the National Audit Office underlined how a lack of transparency – including missing documents, backdated contracts and information published months late – were serious flaws in the government’s procurement process.

Scrutiny of the government’s lack of transparency around its contracting processes has led to increasing evidence of cronyism and “chumocracy” including the confirmation that a “high profile” lane for contract access to those connected to Ministers and MPs fast tracked hundreds of contracts, and a catalogue of contracts handed to Tory friends and donors has totalled at least £1.5 billion.

 

Rachel Reeves, Shadow Cabinet Office Minister said:

“Taxpayers deserve to know their money is being handled with great care – and that any risks of its misuse through tax havens is carefully handled by this government.

“Despite evidence from the National Audit Office that taxpayer money was used to pay well over the odds for PPE, and that this government’s procurement process seriously lacks important transparency, we are seeing no real moves to increase clarity or trust.

“This government cannot continue to brush worrying patterns like this off. They must commit to cleaning up their contracts now and be far more open to restore public confidence.”