CHANCELLOR Rishi Sunak is due to unveil the Government’s plan to create jobs, upgrade buildings and protect the environment as part of efforts to rebuild the economy after Covid-19.

Mr Sunak is due to make his statement in the House of Commons today where he will outline the Government’s plans to support the economy through the first phase of recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

A House of Commons briefing report published ahead of today’s statement says that the magnitude of the recession caused by Covid-19 is ‘unprecedented in modern times’.

It says the country’s GDP was around 25 per cent lower during the depth of the crisis in April than in February, adding: “Economic prospects over the near term will depend on the spread of the virus over the coming months, including whether lockdown measures are tightened again if cases grow.”

Ahead of today’s statement, the region’s largest independent business organisation, the North East England Chamber of Commerce, urged the Chancellor to address regional inequalities in his recovery plan.

The organisation is also keen for the Government to address issues which Covid-19 has exacerbated, such as above average unemployment and economic inequality.

Chamber chief executive, James Ramsbotham said: “The consequences of this crisis and the resulting recession will not be felt evenly across the country.

“Experience teaches us that downturns are more pronounced in regions such as ours and fall disproportionately on those with the least capacity to withstand them.”

He urged Government to keep its promise to ‘level up’ the country, building on the principle of fairness and recognising regional disparities, to increase investment and inclusive growth in the North-East region.

Mr Ramsbotham wrote to Mr Sunak ahead of today’s statement to outline what areas of support businesses in the region would most like to see.

The letter also set out how the current crisis has reinforced a potentially hugely beneficial sense of community and a common goal to get the region back on its feet.

Mr Ramsbotham also made clear any Government economic recovery plan should address longer term goals such as increased sustainability for businesses going forward.

He said: “Lessons learned from this crisis can help us adopt greener, more resilient ways of working while still achieving economic growth.

“The North-East has many competitive advantages in this space, ranging from our expertise in renewable energy and electric vehicles through to our abundant green space and natural resources.

“Government must think creatively and work with businesses to best harness these assets for sustainable growth.

“The final guiding principle for a Government recovery plan must ensure businesses can make the most of every opportunity that is available to them.

“As we have seen in previous downturns, no matter how difficult the situation, businesses will adapt.”

The Chamber also set out some specific short-term measures urgently needed for early recovery.

These included planning system improvements, better connectivity and investment in key areas including education and skills, housing stock and town centre regeneration.