Damage from UK riots put at $324 million
The interests of government and business have coincided neatly over the costs of riot damage, estimated at more than £200m ($324m). David Cameron dispelled widespread doubts that taxpayers would foot the bill in a well-judged speech on Thursday.
Without state support, many independent retailers would have gone bust. Some big chains would have shied away from the poor districts seen as the centres of telly-grabbing criminality. Burnt-out shops would have damaged footfall. Insurers would have jacked up premiums in neighbourhoods such as Tottenham, deterring reinvestment.
Cameron does have an interesting approach to who will pay. Given that he blames the police for sitting back initially and watching the looting, he is take the money to pay for this damage out of the police budget. Do you think that the police will delay action next time?
The prime minister confirmed that police budgets would take the hit. Rightly so. The constabulary’s initial tolerance of looting encouraged the mayhem to mushroom. . . .