The UK’s handling of coronavirus illustrates the crying need for better government.

The Peoples Party will:
ensure that the UK is ready for the next pandemic
set up a formal enquiry into the performance of ministers and officials to hold individuals to account
ensure that the world understands the source of the pandemic and learns from the dangers inherent in closed totalitarian regimes
learn from those who dealt with coronavirus far better and implement measures to make sure a future pandemic is dealt with in the most effective way
provide sufficient stocks of PPE not just for health workers but for every citizen
make certain that comprehensive plans exist and preparations are made to contain and mitigate the health and economic consequences of any threatened future outbreak
ensure a joined-up approach across the public and private sectors
fund resilience measures and preparation for pandemics as a key element of defence
make sure that our country has a world-class health system and that those comorbidities and factors that mitigate against fighting off diseases such as obesity and deprivation are adequately addressed

Sadly, we have suffered one of the highest death rates and the largest loss of GDP of any major nation. Neither was inevitable but resulted from poor decisions, lack of preparation, distorted priorities, disjointed health and social care, underfunding and wishful thinking.

Too little, too late, has cost our country tens of thousands of deaths and a fortune in government expenditure and lost economic activity.

Nearly £400bn has been spent, much of it recklessly, piling on yet more debt for future generations to pay – approximately £20,000 a head for those under 30.

Never again must our country be caught out. Never again must so many people die and suffer because of fundamental failures and incompetence.

Never again must people be called on to protect the NHS; we need a healthcare system that protects them.

The vaccine programme was the least people should expect. However, attempting to shut the door after so many horses have bolted is scant satisfaction for those who have suffered so much.