$10 million per month wasted on redundant contact tracing

“ACT may reveal that taxpayers are footing the bill for unnecessary contact tracing that should have been abandoned when Omicron made it redundant,” says ACT Chief David Seymour.

“Written parliamentary questions show that the government is still spending $10.2 million a month on contact tracing, although contact tracers are unable to reach enough potential contacts or fast enough to be useful in light of the higher transmissibility of Omicron.

“The government’s response to COVID has become increasingly costly and ineffective as the virus has evolved, they have failed to change with it. Now we are stuck with redundant policies that were designed for a different variant and which only exist as a financial charge.

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

“$10m would fund 33 CF patients on Trifakta for a year, 71,000 mental health counseling sessions, and that’s ten times what Hospice NZ needs – but this government seems to think it’s worth better spend it on empty call centers that provide no benefit to New Zealanders.

“ACT says any COVID restrictions or services that don’t tangibly protect our healthcare system should just go away. This is wasteful spending at a time when reckless government spending is fueling domestic inflation out of control.

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

The parliamentary written question can be viewed here.

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