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NAO reports shows Westminster 'woefully underprepared' for pandemic

19 May 2021
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GMB, the union for keyworkers, has responded to an NAO report into the Government’s handling of the pandemic. 

Dan Shears, GMB Health and Safety Director, said: 

“This hard-hitting report from the NAO confirms what we already knew - Westminster was woefully underprepared for a pandemic and this was a direct result of a decade of public sector cuts and austerity measures.  

‘Exercise Cygnus, conducted in 2016, identified major operational failings in the Government's simulated pandemic response.  It appears that nothing was done to address these concerns in the four years from then to March 2020.  

“The Government should have realised that the UK was long overdue to a pandemic to break out, having escaped the worst of SARS and MERS.  

“There must be an acknowledgement of the findings of this report; immediate action to rectify longstanding failings and clear accountability from those responsible for this inadequate response. The public inquiry cannot come soon enough.” 

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