Apr 24, 2023
Have we been conned by consultants?
Nurses struggling without PPE, the frantic search for hospital ventilators, even the dreaded ping from NHS test-and-trace. To most of us, these memories represent some of the worst of the Covid pandemic. But for a select few companies, they were an opportunity to make millions.
Consultancy firms won over seven hundred million pounds worth of government Covid contracts to do things like run the test-and-trace system and vaccine rollout. This February, ministers dropped restrictions on Whitehall spending on consultants, allowing these firms to potentially rake in millions more.
So why is the government so dependent on consultants? Whose interests do they serve? And how worried should we be about their effect on public life?
Ayeisha Thomas-Smith is joined by Rosie Collington, co-author of 'The Big Con: How the Consultancy Industry Weakens Our Businesses, Infantilises Our Governments and Warps Our Economies'.
Grab a copy of The Big Con out now https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/451193/the-big-con-by-collington-mariana-mazzucato-and-rosie/9780241573082
Music by A. A. Aalto and Podington Bear, used under Creative Commons licence.
Produced by Becky Malone, Margaret Welsh and Katrina Gaffney.
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The Weekly Economics Podcast is brought to you by the New Economics Foundation. Find out more at www.neweconomics.org