Government hiding true Thatcher funeral costs
From The Guardian:
The Labour MP John Healey, the former housing minister who boycotted last week’s parliamentary tributes to Thatcher, said military personnel and policing costs were likely to be a large part of the taxpayers’ bill. “The public have a right to see a full account of the costs of the funeral. Any attempt to cover up part of the costs of this funeral is indefensible and likely to be unsustainable.
“This is a state funeral in all but name without the consent of parliament for funding and without the consent of the people. Churchill, who was the only PM over the past 100 years to have a state funeral, unified the country, while Margaret Thatcher divided it.”
George Galloway, the Respect MP, is due to try and force a commons vote to prevent the cancellation of prime minister’s questions to allow MPs to attend the funeral. He told BBC2’s Daily Politics: “We’re spending £10m on the canonisation of this wicked woman, this woman who laid waste to industrial Britain, to the north, to Scotland, to south Wales. We’ve already had the recall of parliament last week, with MPs being paid up to £3,700 to fly back from the Caribbean holiday that they were on and then fly back to start their holiday again, for a totally unnecessary fawning over this woman. And now they want to cancel prime minister’s questions. It’s absurd.”
The scale and the cost to the taxpayer of the funeral has been criticised by public figures including the Bishop of Grantham, Lord Prescott and George Galloway. It has been widely reported that the event will cost £10m. Previous ceremonial funerals have included “opportunity costs”, which would have been incurred anyway if staff were assigned to other operations.
The Queen Mother’s funeral – the last grand ceremonial funeral in Britain – cost £8.16m to the public purse, according the Guardian’s calculations. Policing cost the Metropolitan Police £4.3m of which £2.3m was defined as “opportunity costs”.