North East MPs have reacted to Jeremy Hunt’s ‘Budget for Growth’ on Wednesday (March 15).

The budget promised a swathe of measures set to support Brits struggling with the cost of living including an extension to the energy price cap guarantee and freeze to fuel duty.

Changes to childcare will also see all children between nine months and five years old eligible for 30 hours a week of care, in a bid to remove barriers to work, and will be fully introduced by 2025.

Read more: Work to be done, but Budget gets strong score from North East businesses

Tory MPs across the region welcomed the announcements branding the budget “extremely positive for the region”.

Meanwhile, Labour politicians slammed the Chancellor’s announcements and branded it a “‘Westminster bubble’ budget.”

The Northern Echo:

Welcoming the announcements Stockton South MP Matt Vickers said: “Today’s budget was extremely positive for Teesside. The Government has proved its continued commitment to levelling up and Teesside remains at the Heart of it.

“The announcement of a new Investment Zone for Teesside to incentivise private investment is a huge addition to our developing local economy.

“This huge £80 million Investment Zone will unlock further opportunities for international companies to bring their trade to Teesside, creating further jobs.

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“But we’re also helping individuals, tackling the cost of living across the country with a new energy bill cap, and continuing to support households to pay their energy bills. We’re even helping out local boozers by freezing alcohol duty, which will benefit 1,685 pubs in the North East.

“We want to reduce barriers to employment, by helping working parents with childcare costs, abolishing the pension allowance and supporting more people to overcome barriers and find jobs that really interest them.”

The Northern Echo: Mary Kelly FoyMary Kelly Foy

Meanwhile, City of Durham MP Mary Foy said the Government’s priorities were “a million miles from the worries of people in the North East.”

Ms Foy said: “Households across the City of Durham will be stunned that on the day it was confirmed they are experiencing the greatest crash in their living standards since the 1950s, the Chancellor was cheered on by Tory MPs as he tried to pass off economic stagnation as stability.

“In the Chancellor’s parallel universe, there was no money to tackle record NHS waiting lists, or the public sector workforce crisis- no money to pay our hardworking nurses and teachers. Yet as ever- the Tories found the cash to slash billions in taxes for 8000 retiring millionaires.

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“A Labour budget would have abolished non-dom tax status for the super-wealthy, to fund the largest workforce expansion in the history of the NHS.

“Instead, the Tories have chosen technocratic tweaks over transformative ambition.

“This truly was a ‘Westminster bubble’ budget, a million miles from the worries of people in the North East.”

The tax burden is still forecast to be at a post-Second World War high, reaching 37.7% in 2027-28.

The Northern Echo: Sir Keir StarmerSir Keir Starmer (Image: PA)

Speaking after the budget Labour Leader Sir Keir Starmer said: “After 13 years of his Government, our economy needed major surgery, but like millions across our country, this Budget leaves us stuck in the waiting room with only a sticking plaster to hand.”

However, North West Durham MP Richard Holden praised what he called the “overwhelmingly positive impact” of the budget.