Coronavirus: £170million of taxpayers’ money to go on Amazon vouchers to coax people into study


Cash for Covid tests? £170million of taxpayers’ money to go on Amazon and other online store vouchers to coax people into coronavirus study

  • 400,000 people will be asked to provide data in exchange for a £50 voucher 
  • Some will get opportunity to provide data for a year for £425 in gift cards  
  • The ONS did not confirm whether the vouchers were for online or offline use  

The Government will spend £170million of taxpayers’ money on Amazon and other online store vouchers to coax people into a coronavirus study. 

Four-hundred-thousand people will be asked to participate in the scheme with the incentive of a £50 gift voucher. 

The participants will be required to provide data on the virus, the Office for National Statistics announced. 

Each subject will be picked in a random mail shot and some will have the opportunity to receive £425 in gift cards to provide data for a year. 

Four-hundred-thousand people will be asked to participate in the scheme with the incentive of a £50 gift voucher

The vouchers can be spent at retail outlets such as Amazon, John Lewis and TKMaxx.  

Conservative MP for Stockton South Matt Vickers, who sits on the all-party Future of Retail group, told the Sun on Sunday: ‘You’d have thought people would do such tests without a fee. 

‘But if they are to be paid, vouchers should only be spent on the high street.’

The ONS did not provide any information as to whether the vouchers were intended for online or offline use but said: ‘The real value of that knowledge is likely to vastly exceed the financial cost of the study itself.’ 

Staff working at a Coronavirus testing centre at Temple Green Park and Ride in Leeds on September 16

Staff working at a Coronavirus testing centre at Temple Green Park and Ride in Leeds on September 16

Britain tonight saw a record number of coronavirus infections, with more than 12,000 new cases – almost double the number from yesterday.

Figures released five hours late by the Department of Health, showed a total of 12,872 new lab-confirmed Covid-19 cases across the UK – bringing the total number to 480,017 since the start of the pandemic.

But while it appeared a hammer blow to hopes the virus’s reach had calmed, and in part was blamed on a ‘technical error’ in counting from the entire week, one top professor urged calm.



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