Andy Burnham says the government “walked away” from a support deal for Tier 3 measures in Greater Manchester and has called on Parliament to intervene to ensure a “fair financial framework”.
Speaking in Manchester city centre at a 4pm press conference this afternoon, Burnham said Greater Manchester’s local leaders had asked for £15million a month to provide support for people until the end of March, a total of £90m.
Burnham said that, during negotiations with the government, they were prepared to reduce that figure to £75m and then £65m “to prevent a winter of real poverty and hardship”. The government would not go higher than £60m.
The Greater Manchester Mayor added: “But the government refused to accept it and at 2pm today they walked away. Even now I am willing to do a deal but it cannot be on the terms the government gave.”
“How can we carry the public with us through the pandemic… without supporting them through it?” he said.
“We need to carry them with us, not crush their spirit.”
Burnham said he was now calling on Parliament to intervene.
“I don’t believe we can proceed by grinding communities down through punishing negotiations,” he said. “I now look to Parliament to intervene on a fair financial judgement. This is not just about Manchester.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to confirm at a 5pm press conference that he will be imposing Tier 3 restrictions on Greater Manchester.
“We are led to believe that the government will be imposing it,” said Burnham