Covid Tier 3: What is the formula for cash support offered to 'very high alert' areas?

Greater Manchester is moving into Tier 3 restrictions. Credit: PA

The formula under which the government provides financial support to areas under Tier 3 lockdown restrictions has been revealed following a day of confusion over new measures in Greater Manchester.

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick told ITV News that each area placed under the "very high" coronavirus alert level is offered £8 per person for local authorities to carry out contact tracing and enforcement of the new rules.

For additional business support, Mr Jenrick said the government is offering funding which is "approximately around £20 per capita", which he says is what was rejected by Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham but accepted by leaders in the Liverpool City Region and Lancashire.

The minister was explaining Tier 3 financial support after negotiations with Greater Manchester on the issue collapsed without an agreement on Tuesday and the government announced new restrictions would be imposed regardless.

Mr Jenrick said Mr Burnham "walked away" from talks after being offered support "proportionate" to packages accepted in other regions.

"We had to be fair to other parts of the country, Andy Burnham was adamant that Greater Manchester got a better deal than his neighbours in the North West," Mr Jenrick said.

"That he got a better deal than Steve Rotheram in the Liverpool City Region or than leaders in Lancashire - central government can't do that, we've got to be fair and take a proportionate approach."

The minister's criticisms of Mr Burnham stopped well short of the attacked leveled at him by six Tory MPs who accused him of placing his own ego above his responsibility to the people of Greater Manchester.

The MPs - Chris Clarkson , Mark Logan, Christian Wakeford, James Grundy, James Daly and Mary Robinson - urged Mr Burnham to let local MPs and council leaders attempt to get a settlement.

Mr Burnham responded on Twitter, suggesting the Tory MPs vote in the House of Commons to ensure more money for Greater Manchester.

Mr Jenrick claimed the funding offered to Greater Manchester - £22 million for contact tracing and £60 million for business support - was a "very extensive package of support".

But Mr Burnham said the cash offered for business support in Greater Manchester was £5 million short of the "bare minimum" needed to "prevent a winter of real hardship".

Mr Burnham said leaders of the authorities in Greater Manchester had originally wanted £90 million – £15 million a month until the end of the financial year – to protect incomes for people forced out of work.

They eventually reduced that sum to £65 million but ministers would only offer £60 million.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer is planning to force a Commons vote on Wednesday demanding a “fair one nation deal” for areas facing Tier 3 restrictions.

Meanwhile, South Yorkshire is set to move into Tier 3, joining Liverpool City Region and Lancashire.

The tough new coronavirus measures will come into force on Saturday and will cover around 1.4 million people in Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham, Sheffield and the surrounding areas.

Talks between the government, Mayor of Sheffield City Region Dan Jarvis and other regional leaders have been taking place since Monday to thrash out a deal on financial support.

Mr Jarvis confirmed on Wednesday that the region will be supported with £11 million for track and trace and £30 million for business support.