Manchester Forced Into Tier Three Lockdown Measures
Manchester is the first district in England to be forced into Tier Three lockdown measures, with no financial deal in place to protect workers in the region.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed that the new restrictions - which are the highest level in England - will come into place from Friday 23 October.
It will mean that pubs and bars will close, unless serving substantial meals, while the government strongly advises against travel into or out of the area.
Different households will also be banned from mixing indoors and outdoors, including in private gardens. The rule of six will also apply to public spaces, such as parks.
The Government will now be offering a £22 million support fund to help businesses in the area.
Johnson also said workers' wages can then be topped up with Universal Credit, which will leave them with an 80 percent wage. For those on minimum wage, that equates to £6.98 per hour.
As with other areas in Tier 3 restrictions, the measures will last a minimum of 28 days, with the situation to be reviewed at that time.
Fierce talks between Manchester mayor Andy Burnham and government representatives broke down, with parties unable to agree over a £5m difference. This amounts to about £1.78 per Greater Manchester resident.
In a press conference in Manchester City Centre earlier today (20 October), Andy Burnham confirmed that no deal was reached between Greater Manchester leaders and the Government, accusing Downing Street of 'walking away' from talks.
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Manchester's leaders initially asked for a itemised £75m package in order to support the local economy and to bring in a localised furlough scheme to avoid financial difficulties.
The government then offered Andy Burnham and nine other local MPs a figure of £60m - despite local council leaders calculating the original amount based on population and other figures. Burnham said he would have been willing to accept a compromise of £65m during negotiations.
The talks were given a deadline of midday.
But Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick announced they had ended after hours of negotiations, with Manchester councils deeming the requested figure necessary to ensure residents aren't placed in severe financial difficulties.
He announced the news on Twitter, writing: "I'm disappointed that despite recognising the gravity of the situation, the Mayor of Greater Manchester has been unwilling to take the action that is required to get the spread of the virus under control in Greater Manchester and reach an agreement with the government."
(1/2) I'm disappointed that despite recognising the gravity of the situation, the Mayor of Greater Manchester has been unwilling to take the action that is required to get the spread of the virus under control in Greater Manchester and reach an agreement with the government.
- Robert Jenrick (@RobertJenrick) October 20, 2020
Meanwhile, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer says the collapse in talks were a 'sign of Government failure'.
He tweeted: "Labour recognises the need for stricter public health restrictions.
"However, that must be accompanied by extra financial support."
He added: "Labour will continue to support @AndyBurnhamGM and local leaders in the North West in the fight for people's jobs, lives and livelihoods."
Featured Image Credit: PA
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