Liz McInnes, Member of Parliament for Heywood and Middleton, has written to the Prime Minister to ask about funding for Greater Manchester in the wake of the government’s £1 billion deal with Northern Ireland.
The Conservatives, who lost their majority in the recent general election, have agreed a ‘confidence and supply’ arrangement with Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP). In return for their support in parliament the government will provide £1 billion of investment to Northern Ireland over the next two years.
Liz McInnes MP says: “Lots of residents have been asking me about the Tory agreement with the DUP and particularly the £1 billion being given to Northern Ireland as part of the deal. I’ve been asked if it’s a ‘bribe’ or a ‘pay-off’ in return for votes and I think it’s only fair that the Prime Minister is asked to respond to these concerns.
People have also been asking me when we can expect a similar level of funding. Here in Heywood and Middleton and the Greater Manchester region under the Tories we’ve suffered huge cuts to police, fire and rescue, the NHS, social care and schools, and £1 billion of investment would make an incredible difference to our public services and life in the region. Theresa May told us during the election that ‘there is no magic money tree’, but she appears to have found one now after all. I want Greater Manchester to get our fair share.”
Full text of Liz’s letter to the Prime Minister:
Dear Prime Minister,
The Conservative deal with the DUP
I have been contacted by many constituents regarding the deal your government has struck with the DUP. My constituents are understandably confused and somewhat angry about the deal and have raised the following questions with me.
Firstly, residents ask me if the £1billion for Northern Ireland amounts to a ‘bribe’ for votes?
Secondly, where is this money coming from given that you told a nurse during the election campaign that “there is no magic money tree”?
Thirdly, Greater Manchester has suffered huge cuts to government funding in the last 7 years, including having more than £140 million taken from Greater Manchester Police and £30 million from Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue. We have an urgent need for investment in our local schools, our NHS, our social care services, local transport and infrastructure. When can our region expect our fair share of the ‘magic money tree’ that appears to have been found?
I look forward to hearing from you.