Friday, 15 April 2011

Why does Manchester get £250m more than Bradford from the Goverment?

Bradford - less deserving than Manchester
A Labour candidate in Manchester – bearing the delightfully working class name of Grace Fletcher-Hackwood – has penned a sweet little letter to the Prime Minister about the terrible things happening to the City. Now, while I find that writing letters to the Prime Minister a mostly futile exercise, I couldn’t help be grimace at Grace’s jeremiad.

First let's get one thing straight: Manchester's local government settlement has been cut by 21%. The Transition Grant you mentioned is just that – we only get it for one year. Manchester City Council's total government grant for 2012-13, including the funding for the council tax freeze, and including the NHS funding, will be £383.6m, down from £485.8m in 2010-11. That is a cut of 21%. Don't let Nick Clegg do your maths for you, Prime Minister: you know he can't count above thirty.

Now I’m guessing that Grace is a little cross but this constant moaning about how hard done by Manchester is...well, it is beginning to annoy me because the City has been rather feather=bedded in recent times. So here, for Grace’s benefit, are a few facts:
1.       Manchester’s per capita grant from the Government is 56% higher than the per capita grant in Bradford. And I do hope that Grace isn’t going to suggest that Bradford is much less deprived than Manchester? 

2.       Manchester also sets a higher level of Council Tax than Bradford – Band C in my fine city is £1135.33 whereas it is £1179.54 in Manchester. 

3.       Given that the populations of the two cities are pretty much identical that means Manchester has 60%  - that’s right SIXTY PER CENT – more to spend on its citizens than does Bradford

It’s true that Bradford’s Labour-led council has made cuts of around £56m – including some carefully targeted and spiteful cuts directed at the rural parts of the City – but there has not been the need for the drastic cuts Manchester seems to be making to its frontline services.

What I’d like to know – maybe Grace can help me out – is just how Manchester spends all that extra cash it gets? And if you’re asking how much extra we’re talking about, the answer is £245.4m. That’s right folks Manchester gets nearly £250m more from the Government than does Bradford.

That can’t be right can it?


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