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Andy Burnham accuses Government of leaving Manchester short of £1 billion

Published 28/05/2016

Andy Burnham hopes to be mayor of Manchester
Andy Burnham hopes to be mayor of Manchester

Manchester mayoral hopeful Andy Burnham has accused the Government of leaving the city short of £1 billion in public funding.

Mr Burnham, who wants to swap his shadow home secretary role to be directly elected mayor of what the Tories claim will be a Northern powerhouse, has written to Chancellor George Osborne insisting more resources are needed.

"Far from fixing our roof while the sun was shining, you are about to hand over the keys to a powerhouse with a £1 billion hole in it. If you want to give the North more than a clever slogan, you must now put your money where your mouth is," Mr Burnham says in the letter, The Observer reports.

The Labour leadership loser said the shortfall is made up of a reduction in the central government grant to Manchester, NHS deficits, and cuts to public services such as the police.

A Government spokesman said: "The Northern powerhouse is a long-term strategy which is giving real power to the great cities and counties of the North West.

"The work to ensure that the North becomes a powerhouse for our economy again is not even two years old, but the reality is Manchester is already seeing early progress.

"The number of people in work in the North West is the highest on record. Over the next five years we will also spend £150 billion on health, £45 billion on schools and £13 billion on transport across the Northern powerhouse. And, according to figures last week, the region is now attracting more foreign direct investment than any other in the UK, with a 118% increase last year."

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