Magazine article Public Finance

Swine Flu Leaflets Waste of Money, Says Taxpayers' Alliance

Magazine article Public Finance

Swine Flu Leaflets Waste of Money, Says Taxpayers' Alliance

Article excerpt

The Taxpayers' Alliance has criticised government spending on measures to combat swine flu.

Figures from the Department of Health put the cost of the government's public information campaign to prevent the spread of the H1N1 virus at £7m. This includes a leaflet delivered to every household in the UK1 a television and poster advertising campaign and a helpline providing recorded information.

But the chief executive of the Taxpayers' Alliance, Matthew Elliott, said the money would be better spent on treating flu sufferers. 'These leaflets are not the most efficient or cost-effective way of educating the public on swine flu/ he said. 'Worried taxpayers want concrete solutions, not trite common sense coming through their front door telling them to sneeze into a tissue.'

So far, the government has spent £500m on preparedness - a figure that includes the cost of stockpiling antiviral drugs and vaccines since 2005. But the figure excludes the additional costs of the government's April 29 decision to increase its supplies of the antiviral drug Tamiflu from 33 million courses of treatment to 50 million. …

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