Theresa May is failing on her promise to pay a £17m bill to Manchester City Council, nearly six months after the Manchester terror attack.
Police, NHS and counselling costs have yet to be reimbursed by Whitehall, with a further £10m expected to be added due to the cost of coroner’s services, social care and administration connected to Manchester’s worst-ever terror attack.
The blast on the 22nd May this year killed 22 people at an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena. Greater Manchester Police had to bring in emergency help from other forces, and they were slapped with a £9m bill.
Counselling and support for those affected by the blast added a further £8m to the financial black hole, which is putting an unnecessarily prolonged strain on the city’s budget.
Where the Tories failed in Manchester’s hour of need, the attack instigated an outpouring of support and donations from the people of Manchester and the wider public to the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund, which is helping the families of those killed and injured.
At a Manchester City Council meeting earlier this week, Councillor John Flanagan said:
The most important thing is that we are there for the families and the victims of this terror attack and where the government fails, Manchester will step into the gap.
But I find it very difficult that we now have a government that doesn’t carry out its primary role, which is to look after its citizens at their time of need despite their offers of help.
Chancellor Philip Hammond said that some of the costs related to the attack were ‘still emerging’, and he emphasised that the government will continue to work with the authorities to assess changing needs.
Philip Hammond also said that the government had already given £185,000 to help counsel affected young people – but what about the rest of the promised money?
After all, the Tories managed to set aside £1bn for the DUP to keep Theresa May desperately clinging on to power, just days after the 2017 general election.
There is also £55.7bn in the pipeline to spend on the Tories’ vanity project, HS2.
The Tories are clearly able to pluck money from the magic money tree that Theresa May spent the entire lead-up to the general election denying ever existed.
The biggest kick in the teeth to both Manchester City Council, and the people of Manchester, is that the £17m the government have refused to provide is the same amount the government spent on consultants hired to draw up NHS cutbacks.
The Tories are failing the people of Manchester and it’s clear to see where their priorities truly lie. Manchester deserves better.
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