Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham has pressed the city-region’s 27 MPs to demand greater financial support for areas placed under Tier 3 coronavirus restrictions from 2nd December.
A debate on the new measures being introduced following the end of national lockdown in England takes place in the House of Commons on Tuesday 1st December, when MPs will vote on new restrictions.
In a letter to parliamentary colleagues, Andy Burnham highlighted three areas he believe require review before new restrictions are introduced:
- A meaningful December review of tiering decisions: although high, Covid-19 infection rates in Greater Manchester are declining more rapidly than in other areas.
- Revised set of restrictions, taking into consideration the efforts made by the hospitality sector to deliver Covid-safe environments
- Increased financial support for Tier 3 areas: currently funding for local authorities to deliver Additional Restrictions Grants in all tiers is set at £20 per head of population, which also disadvantages urban areas such as Manchester with higher densities of hospitality businesses. Mr Burnham is calling for support to be linked to the number of businesses registered in an area, rather than residents.
The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said:
The Government is continuing a policy of imposing harsh regional lockdowns without providing sufficient support to offset the damage to jobs and businesses.
“This is a deliberate act of levelling down from a Government which only a year ago was elected on a promise to do precisely the opposite.
“It simply cannot be right or fair that Tier 1 Cornwall and the Isle of Wight are receiving the same level of business support as cities such as Manchester, Leeds and Hull. MPs representing Tier 3 areas on all sides of the House need to come together and demand a much fairer support package from the Government.
“For businesses that support hospitality, December is traditionally the most important month of the year. To take that away without compensation will be devastating for them and many will not survive into the New Year.”
The full text of the Mayor’s letter is available on the GMCA website.