Estimate: The cost of the covid inquiry

Key findings

  • An inquiry into the handling of the coronavirus pandemic was formally established on 28 June 2022. [1] It is estimated that witnesses are expected to finish giving evidence by June 2026. [2]
  • The Covid Inquiry has already cost over £56 million up to 30 September 2023. [3][4] This already makes it the second most expensive statutory inquiry since 2005.
  • The TaxPayers’ Alliance estimates that from its formal establishment the Covid Inquiry will cost over £156 million by the time witnesses conclude giving evidence by June 2026.
  • The estimated cost of the Covid Inquiry suggests it could be the most expensive statutory inquiry per day since 2005 in real terms, and the second most expensive statutory inquiry by total cost.
  • The inquiry with the second largest cost per day was the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, which was completed in 2022, costing almost £69,000 per day in real terms. This inquiry had the largest total cost of those assessed but was almost double the length of the forecasted Covid Inquiry run time.
  • The Covid Inquiry is estimated to cost almost eight times more than the Phone Hacking (Leveson) Inquiry per day, which ended in 2012.
  • There have been 22 completed statutory inquiries since 2005 when the Inquires Act was introduced.





[1] UK Covid-19 Inquiry, Financial Report to 31 March 2023, 2023, p.2,

[2] Dyer, C. Covid-19: UK’s pandemic inquiry prepares to hear from witnesses, British Medical Journal, 8 June 2023,, (accessed 13 November 2023).

[3] UK Covid-19 Inquiry, Financial Report to 30 September 2023, 2023, p.2,

[4] This includes costs from the initial set-up phase of the inquiry before it was formally established.

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience.  More info. Okay