Greater Manchester will move to England’s highest tier of coronavirus restrictions from Friday at 00:01 BST, the prime minister has announced
“We had to act today…in order to protect health and save lives.” said Johnson adding that he “regrets” that an agreement was not reached with Andy Burnham over the “proportionate” offer he made to keep its businesses running.
Meanwhile the argument continues over funding with Johnson repeatedly asked during the press conference whether Greater Manchester will receive the £60m the Government offered for business support.
“Obviously we want to do more…but for the sake of fairness the deal has to be in line with the deals we have reached with Lancashire and Merseyside, where we have made progress.”
There has been much anger following the announcement and breakdown of talks
Wigan MP and Shadow Foreign Secretary Lisa Nandy tweeted
“In ten years in Parliament I’ve never seen anything like this. MPs are on a call with the Health Secretary being told Greater Manchester is getting only £22m while our Mayor is at a press conference being told by the media. This is bad faith, it’s immoral – just disgraceful.”
Oldham MP Jim MacMahon said that “ Nobody should underestimate the anger in Greater Manchester at this Government”
Manchester Central MP Lucy Powell tweeted
It’s an utter disgrace that businesses and workers in GM won’t get an extra penny from government to support them in Tier 3.
Andy is right: it’s utter spite.
The idea of all in this together has been totally shattered this week.
Chris Fletcher, Policy Director at Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, said: “This news comes as a bitter blow to the whole of Greater Manchester, its businesses and its residents. The huge difference from what has been given to what was needed seems a petty act of political sabotage on a regional economy by the government.
“There has been a concerted effort by everyone right across GM to make clear to government why extra funding was a necessary factor to support a move to Tier3. GM has been in Tier 2 type measures since July and increasing numbers of businesses are struggling with dwindling cash reserves, the imminent ending of furlough and a huge drop off in sales. The fact that we have ended up in Tier 3 with just £22m and the PM confirmed that a business support package of £55m was removed will not only create concern but genuine anger and distrust towards this government.