$10m a month wasted on redundant contact tracing

Tue, 03 May, 2022

“ACT can reveal that taxpayers are footing the bill for pointless contact tracing that should have been scrapped when Omicron made it redundant,” says ACT’s Leader David Seymour.

“Written parliamentary questions show the Government is still spending $10.2 million a month on contact tracing, despite contact tracers being unable to reach enough potential contacts or fast enough to ever be of any use in light of Omicron’s higher transmissibility.

“The Government’s response to COVID has become increasingly costly and ineffective as the virus has evolved they’ve failed to change with it. Now we’re stuck with redundant policies that were designed for a different variant and exist only as a financial burden.

“The reality is that most people don’t even report their positive results anyway.

“$10 million would fund 33 cystic fibrosis patients with Trifakta for a year, 71,000 mental health counselling sessions, and is ten times more than what Hospice NZ needs - but this Government seems to think it is better off spent on empty call centres that are providing no benefit to New Zealanders.

“ACT says that any COVID restrictions or services that aren’t protecting our health system in any tangible way should just go. They’re a needless expense at a time when reckless Government spending is fuelling out of control domestic inflation.

“Getting rid of contact tracing would save taxpayers millions and is an important symbol that we’re moving on and getting our way of life back. It should be done immediately.”

The Written Parliamentary Question can be found here.