The year of trials and tribulations continue in Greater Manchester, with Health Secretary Matt Hancock announcing the region remains in Tier 3 following the end of the December 2 national lockdown.
While the actual numbers of infections continue to drop, this increased safety measure aims to further contain the COVID-19 spread, to save as many lives as possible.
Of course, this comes with difficulties to daily lives and businesses to which we are growing increasingly, and disappointingly, accustomed.
So, what do you need to know, and which businesses need the most support?
Tier 3 Lockdown
For simplicity’s sake, people in Greater Manchester should understand the following about Tier 3:
Most hospitality venues will have to remain closed, except for those which offer delivery and takeaway services.
Hotels and other forms of accommodation such as backpackers and Airbnb locations must remain closed. The only exception for these businesses is those which remain open for work purposes with customers who cannot return home.
Outdoor sports will open in Tier 3, though spectators will not be allowed until the alarm level is lowered to Tier 2.
Meeting socially with others that do not live with you or who exist outside of your support bubble is not allowed.
In terms of supporting the community in Greater Manchester, the unfortunate truth is that, outside of government support, there is often little that the average person can do. The big exception here is the delivery industry, which could benefit from your involvement if it is financially viable to do so. The same could be said about outdoor sporting arenas, where some groups might find it helpful to rent out spaces. Again, this only applies if within your budget, as there’s little point propping up others if it causes you crippling issues.
Looking towards a more positive side, there are some ways in that alternative businesses are thriving with wealthier established names taking a temporary back-seat. For example, brick and mortar casinos in Greater Manchester are taking another hit from their digital rivals. These are wealthy enough that they won’t feel the hit from lockdown, while online casinos could see appreciated growth. There are a lot of different casinos here with a variety of different games and bonuses, so their time in a bigger spotlight will be much appreciated.
Otherwise, it could be a good idea to save your money until lockdown shifts into a lower tier. When businesses do start opening up again, they’re going to need your continued support. This could help many of them get back on their feet with a much-needed injection of cash, so keep this in mind.
You can also see the railway lines snaking through the city centre, cars nipping around the ring road, and the comparatively small apartment blocks around Castlefield.
Commenting on the video, one person said: “This is mint.”
Another wrote: “Fricken love this!!!!”
Featured image: @lef_tsotour
Question Time audience stunned as first-time buyer says mortgage quote DOUBLED
Thursday night’s Question Time audience could be heard audibly gasping after a fellow crowd member revealed that her mortgage quote had doubled followed the recent mini-budget.
Taping in Manchester on 29 September, the current events and politics programme was discussing property when would-be first-time buyer Rabia revealed that her mortgage offer had jumped from an initial amount of 4.5% interest to a shocking 10.5% in just a matter of days.
As you can see in the incredible clip, both the audience and the panel are taken aback at the revelation.
The Greater Manchester resident said she is desperate to know what the government’s plan for mortgages is as following the latest revision, she says she simply cannot afford to put the money down on her first home.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer weighed in on the social media reaction, quote tweeting the clip from his party’s own account and stating that “the Tories must get back to Parliament and reverse their kamikaze budget” as the current economic mess is being “paid for by working people”.
To make matters worse, Rabia was given no clarification from her lenders, only that they were pulling her offers. Conservative MP and Minister for Local Government, Faith and Communities, Paul Scully had little information to offer her either, simply stating it is a short-term effect and that the market will stabilise.
Scully was subject to an entirely different reaction from the audience as well after his blind attempts to defend Prime Minister Liz Truss and Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng were met with laughter. Conversely, Richard Bacon was met with applause after he labelled the mini-budget “absurd”.
As if the anti-Tory sentiment wasn’t already at a high, the chancellor’s mini-budget – which saw the corporations, bankers and the generally wealthy benefit ahead of the working class – has seen fresh calls for a general election to be held as soon as possible.
Beyond declaring a so-called £2,500 limit on energy bills (which many have warned isn’t a guaranteed cap), there was seemingly very little in the way of policy that
For those still unclear as to what was announced in the divisive mini-budget, here is a quick summary:
Speaking in a speech at the Labour conference in Liverpool on Tuesday, Starmer said that the government “haven’t just failed to fix the roof, they’ve ripped out the foundations, smashed the windows and now they’ve blown the doors off for good measure.