DAVID Cameron insisted Liverpool was “well funded” as he rejected the claim of city mayor Joe Anderson that government cuts could spark riots.
The prime minister visited the city yesterday to help launch Liverpool’s International Festival of Business which happens in June and July 2014.
Earlier he had a short private meeting with Mayor Anderson ahead of delivering a speech to business leaders at the Museum of Liverpool.
He said: “I think it’s an absolutely excellent idea [to host the festival] and it has my full support – the government will be fully behind it.
“I am sure that it will be a great success. We are in a global race, we need to showcase the best of British business and show that Britain is open for business. Liverpool has always been brilliant at promoting itself and this is another example of how it is leading the way.”
He insisted government cuts imposed on Liverpool were fair and Mayor Anderson was wrong.
The city is losing £252 for every resident because of government cutbacks, compared with an average £61 across English councils. The council must axe £32m from its budget for the next financial year.
Mr Cameron said: “Every council faces tough financial times – that would be the case whoever was the government. We have a very big deficit, one of the biggest in Europe. We need to pay that down and everyone has to bear their responsibility.
“Liverpool council is still well funded to the tune of £930 per head, which compares favourably with many parts of the country. We know difficult decisions must be made.
“I commend the mayor and the work he does to promote private sector business and the commercial side of the city because Liverpool needs to rebalance its economy, just as the country needs to rebalance its economy as a whole.”
Last month Mayor Anderson said he feared the worst over the cuts being imposed by the government.