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MP Calls For Government To Release "True Cost" Of Thatcher's Funeral

Wednesday April 17 2013


MP John Healey MP John Healey


MP John Healey has called on the Prime Minister to publish the full cost of Margaret Thatcher’s funeral amid fears the government will try to hide its true cost.

It follows Francis Maude's appearance on the BBC’s Any Questions on Friday, the minister in charge of organising Baroness Thatcher’s funeral.

Mr Maude said he didn't know what would be the cost of tomorrow’s ceremonial funeral and suggested that, when the total cost is released afterwards, the figure will exclude the cost of the many military personnel and police involved – likely to make up a large part of the bill picked up by the public purse.

In a letter, Mr Healey told David Cameron: “The public has a right to know the full cost to the country of this funeral, especially at a time when so many people are seeing the austerity effect of your government’s spending cuts in their communities and in their pay packets. With gun carriage, full military honours, the service at St Paul’s and the silence of Big Ben, this is a full-scale state funeral in all but name." 

Last week, Mr Healey boycotted the tribute debate, saying the Prime Minister had hijacked Parliament for political gain and Baroness Thatcher’s legacy was “too bitter.”

He added: "As you know, only one ex-Prime Minister in the last 100 years has been given a state funeral – Winston Churchill. He was a Prime Minister that brought the country together, whilst Margaret Thatcher was one who divided it. He was a Prime Minister to whom people as one nation could pay respect and honour; Margaret Thatcher was not.“

It has been widely reported that today’s funeral will cost £10 million.

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Reply Posted by Mick on Wednesday April 17 2013 at 11:24
Maude's idea that policing the funeral costs nothing because we were paying for them anyway is interesting. Can I borrow 4,000 of them sometime too? maybe to do a bit of gardening or shopping?

Reply Posted by Fred on Wednesday April 17 2013 at 18:39
The cost should be irrevelavent, she was the greatest woman to live ! If she was still in power we wouldn't be in such state. People forget she gave the working man the right to be buy their council home, this is the same working man she allegedly hated. Whatever your politics she was a great woman, very divisive I agree. I was brought up to respect the elderly, and the very least she deserve is respect in her death. RIP Maggie.

Reply Posted by Guesty Mcguest on Thursday April 18 2013 at 10:50
Why did she deserve respect? She gave none,
Friends with Pinochet and PolPot, dismissed mancela as a terrorist.
She had a family that was worse than any on Jeremy Kyle, Alcoholic Husband, Racist Daughter, and Mark well what can we say about him? Trying to start a coup is about as bad as it gets.

I think the most poignant thing about all this is the fact that the stroke didn't kill off thatcher, it was actually the tories themselves back in 1990, she died the minute she was forced to resign that day.

Camerons no chinned attempt at this rose tinted nostalgic view of such a deplorable woman is not foling anyone, this won't save his leadership, George Osbornes, will eventually be forced to rethink his economic "strategy" (in the loosest possible quotes) and this government will go down in history as one of the worst.

And before Fred goes on about blair and osborne as seems to be his only way to justify the tories - not by any merit of their own. No one thinks they did a good job either. We would still be in this mess regardless of the colour of the government at the time, successive governments are responsible for the deregulation of banks which led to the global economic meltdown.

Reply Posted by Mick on Wednesday April 17 2013 at 20:02
I disagree with Fred about the 'right to buy' scheme. Although a policy so popular Labour continued it, it was / is incredibly damaging.

Selling off council houses at below market value left the country with a lack of social housing that will never be rectified & fuelled a rise in property prices & private rents that now leaves millions without the means to find suitable housing either to buy or to rent.

The income gained from selling the housing stock is being spent many times over on the £23 billion per year paid out in Housing Benefit (mainly to employed low wage earners). If the 'right to buy' scheme was never started there would be social housing for the needy in sufficient quantities to keep private rents competitive too, and house price inflation fuelled by buy-to-let landlords would have been much lower.

For too long we were a country that saw house buying as a road to wealth rather than as a means to a roof over our heads, no other country behaves like this.

Reply Posted by Katharine on Thursday April 18 2013 at 07:56
I do agree with you Mick. I do own a council house and it was cheap enough for us to buy from a private seller. But even though I have benefit from this scheme second hand. I can see the enormous damage it has done. Th sever lack of social housing and the private landlords taking advantage of it. My son has to rent a room at huge costs because there is no sort of cap on rents. So even if you try and live within your means best part of your wage packet is gobbled up by rent alone.

Reply Posted by Charles on Wednesday April 17 2013 at 22:47
Mick, I am afraid that what you say is incorrect. The Thatcher government gave hundreds of thousands of council tenants the opportunity of owning their little bit of Britain. This was to make them feel more inclusive and take pride in their home and community.

The lack of social housing was brought about by mass immigration, mainly under the last Labour government. You must have noticed that the Population of Britain has risen from 57 million to 61 million in a short period of time. This is why we have a shortage of social housing.

Reply Posted by Mick on Wednesday April 17 2013 at 23:07
The 'opportunity' given to hundreds of thousands was at the expense of all the future generations. Selling the family silver is the correct analogy.

The rent levels of social housing helped to control house prices & private rents. People cashing in on houses bought below market value & 'buy to let' demand fuelled by scarce rental properties pushed up house prices at a ridiculous rate.

House prices didn't double or treble because of immigration.

Reply Posted by Ray on Thursday April 18 2013 at 06:42
She gave tenants the right to by but implemented a ban on councils building new social housing, the money raised from the sales was fo the state coffers; replacing social housing was forbidden by her legislation. her party was in power for 4 terms carrying that legacy through. Thats why we have 2 million on housing waiting lists!! nothing to do with Labour or immigration!!!

Reply Posted by stevo on Thursday April 18 2013 at 07:02
Correct Ray.
Correct Mick
Fred W*nker
Charles - There's not many "immigrants" that actually get social housing,(and rightly so) even "asylum seekers" are put into private rental properties.
We've all heard about the Somali asylum seeker and her 8 kids in a £12k a week private rental property in west London haven't we?
Or the Zimbabwean asylum seeker who has had to move to another part of London due to the benefit cuts?

Private landlords are the big winners of the right to buy scheme
Council tenant buys council house, less council house stock, more waiting lists, people ,who have the right to be housed (god knows why this legislation is in force) are put into private rental properties paid for by you and me.
Immigration - Further fuelled the need for private rental properties pushing the price of rents up.

Reply Posted by Charles on Thursday April 18 2013 at 10:49
Stevo: While I would not deny that immigration has fuelled the demand for private rented accommodation, I am aware that that many immigrants in the Barnsley area have been allocated social housing.

You have previously made it known that you are an educated man with a good job and salary. Consequently if what you say is right, that private landlords are 'the big winners' you would be foolish not to take advantage of this opportunity. Perhaps you have done so and you may be speaking from experience. My view, for what it is worth, is that when capital values of domestic property was rising (locally that is) then private landlords were 'on to a good thing.' I am not sure that is the case today for new investors as in my opinion there are much better financial opportunities available elsewhere.

Reply Posted by stevo on Thursday April 18 2013 at 15:05
Charles, I hear what you are saying, but I missed the boat on the buy to let boom as I had/have bigger fish to fry, so to speak.
My friend has several properties in the town and they are all rented out to immigrants at a premium.
As we both know immigrants aren't that fussed if they "hot bed" and neither is my friend as he still gets to rent his properties at a premium.
Capitalism at its best / worst, whichever your persuasion.

The standard rate for a two bedroom terrace in an undesirable location in town is £110 = £125 a week.

As for immigrants and social housing - totally and utterly unacceptable in my opinion and needs stopping now.

Reply Posted by les on Thursday April 18 2013 at 10:52
And what about the 5% vat that she introduced on heat and light because of global warming.
Global warming is something that would happen even if humans werent here at all
look back in history to 1816...the year without summer there were hardly any pits....no electricity hardly any fuels at all
hardly any humans.but one day down in indonesia an island decided to blow up and created a global nightmare of starvation death ......another famous historical...krakatoa....another famous mt st helens....and many hundreds more....that cause global warming....
Yes she did a good thing she charged everybody £5 in every hundred as though it was our fault .......
Where are the companys who have strived to surviv through wars....nany have gone and mostly through conservatives.
Money is money. and the freedom to spend spend spend came from thatcher
banks were lending money to people who had no money to buy houses. but she gave that freedom to borrow and borrow and borrow then we get your houses back for nothing........how can you lend money to people who cant afford to pay it back....
But the people who have plenty borrow millions and even they cant pay it back
so the chancellor who creates the budget
robs people and then still borrows money how can he be any good with money....
You keep living your lavish lifestyles....mr or mrs government someone else us paying for it......
I was brought up never a lender or a borrower be

Reply Posted by Fred on Thursday April 18 2013 at 23:17
By the way Steve I think being a w@nker is better than being a racist. However I do agree with you on immigrants and social housing,I would expect to pay my own way if I went to live In another country. My point was more to do with ideology rather than politics, I was brought up under the thatcher government and had hopes and aspirations the same as most, I worked dam hard and have achieved reasonable success, what I have issues is today culture of 'living of benefits, I have a right to this, that and other',the only way to achieve anything in life is through hard work, far too many ENGLISH people believe they are owed a living, a house, sky TV, 8 pints and 20 fags, I agree that immigrant have jumped on board this band wagon, but who can blame them when the looney left made it all possible what did they expect !! If believing in working hard for a nice standard of living makes me a w@nker then yes I am.

Reply Posted by stevo on Friday April 19 2013 at 07:27
Fred my name is not steve...
AND coming from a massive multi cultural family like mine, more like the league of nations to be honest, not a bad thing either, you could say it is a very interesting eclectic family mix from all four corners of the world!
if you knew me then you would know I am far from racist, however, I suppose some of my posts regarding our eastern European cousins could be "construed" as being racist.

As for the w*nker comment, just knew you would reply with a rant about benefit "scroungers".
I do hear what you are saying, but as you mention it in every post then it does get somewhat tedious.
I am of the same ilk, I have worked hard for everything I have in life and yes it does get on my nerves that someone living in a council house popping kids out like no ones business gets more money than the average worker, yes it is wrong and we definitely have Labour to blame for a large proportion of the problems surrounding benefits.
However, the problem is that the mainstream media whip up such a frenzy regarding "benefit" scroungers, then every one on benefits is tarred with the same brush, we both know there are many genuine claimants out there, we also know there are not many genuine claimants too.

(can I say Tory / Tories or rhetoric yet, go on I know you want me too)

Said this before and i'll say it again, I was actually in favour of the Tories (there I said it) implementing the "welfare card" ,or psychological warfare/welfare card.
As for the bedroom tax, come on we both know that said tax is another ploy in trying to get people off benefits and shoving them in minimum wage jobs.

Back on topic, I find it extremely laughable that the Tory propaganda machine, or the BBC as we usually call it, gave massive media coverage to Thatchers funeral yet failed to give coverage to the 20,000 protestors in Trafalgar square the very same day.

Didn't have the resources perhaps?

We both know that answer.

Reply Posted by hard worker on Friday April 19 2013 at 11:52
at the end of the day it doesn't matter who sanctioned this funeral,even if labour were in power people would still disagree with the 10 million pound price tag,and the fact that the voice of the people from the north was once again ignored,and fred if you put as much energy into complaining about the millions of pounds of our tax money being spent on the luxury hotels we know as prisons to give prisoners a better standard of living than the poorest most vunerable people in our society then people might have a bit more respect for your opinions

Reply Posted by Fred on Friday April 19 2013 at 17:37
Harder worker, wether any one respects my opinion or not doesn't matter to me. The voice of the north as you say is not strictly correct, as om from the North, and I dont believe for one minute no one else 'up north' shares my opinion. I agree that the people who think they were wronged by maggie, and their brain washed famies certainly don't share my views. And by the way I agree with you regarding prisons, they are hardly a deterrent!

Reply Posted by Fred on Friday April 19 2013 at 21:39
STEVO, I don't think we're a million miles away option wise. I am a true believer in the welfare state, as a so called civilised society we have a moral duty to protect and provide for the needy, for whatever reason they need help, in particular the way we look after our elderly is becoming almost criminal.. But back on to my usual rant, not those who choose the easy option and live their entire life on benefit. I had a few properties I rented out as a private landlord, without exception every tenant knew every single loop hole to ensure they received maximum benefit. They all referred to 'dole day' as 'pay day', this used to, and still does drive me mad. Pay is paid to some one for some form of work!! Not for sitting on your @rse all day.I actually had a tenant offer me £25 a week cash if I would tell the social they worked for me 16 hours a week as it made life easier for them and they wouldn't have to attend any Job seekers courses etc.(rant over). I am now out of the 'landlord business' as I could not deal the tenants!! How some people CHOOSE to live is just frightening.

Reply Posted by stevo on Saturday April 20 2013 at 03:43
Fred, I hear what you are saying I have also been trolled by another person(s).
As for benefits etc, at one time of the day you had to go to the JC fill in a shedload of forms and wait 4 weeks for your money,nowadays people who throw on the "sick" actually get an advisor to come to their house!
Not only that they "advise" the claimant on everything that they can possibly claim for!
I have said before benefits should be a short term stop gap and most definitely not a lifestyle choice.
I also say again I would be more than happy if the "welfare cards" were to be introduced,perhaps this would give the claimants a kick up the arse to get a job.
As for the jobcentre, it is a horrible place, I had first hand experience of it a few years back and have to say they do expect people to jump through hoops to get a job.
They are automaton idiots that read from a script, all they are interested in is throwing people into jobs they don't want to do for paltry min wage money.
Again,most certainly not above me, I would clean peel street toilets If I could keep the wolf from the door if necessary.

I was extremely smug when I went back to the JC and saw the "advisor" 4 days after I was made redundant and told her I wanted to sign off as I had got a job ;).
As for as "the" funeral, as far as i am concerned, it was a complete waste of money and resources, in these austere times the government should have bigger priorities.

Reply Posted by Fred on Friday April 19 2013 at 22:38
Also Stevo, 75% of the post on here claiming to be from me are not !!!