Residents in Rishi Sunak's constituency have reacted to the government's autumn statement - with many calling on the Prime Minister to do more to help the average person on the street. 

Earlier today (Wednesday, November 22), Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced that National Insurance would be cut for 27 million workers, the legal minimum wage would be increased from £10.42 to £11.44, and Universal Credit would be increased in line with inflation by 6.7 per cent next April. 

The speech, delivered to the Commons, is the Chancellor’s main opportunity outside the budget to make tax and spending announcements.

The Northern Echo: Jeremy Hunt before the autumn statementJeremy Hunt before the autumn statement (Image: PA MEDIA)

Mr Hunt used the statement to introduce changes aimed at reviving the UK’s struggling economy and the Tories’ election chances.

But in Mr Sunak's constituency of Richmond today, people were questioning the government's tactics, as the cost of everyday items, fuel and energy costs continue to soar. 

Follow all of the North East reaction to the autumn statement with The Northern Echo's blog.

Ian Hutchinson, who comes from a long line of family members who have always voted Conservative, said that he is 'disillusioned' by the idea of voting Tory at the next general election, and has questioned Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's credentials. 

The Northern Echo: National insurance, minimum wage and investment zones were on the agenda during the autumn statementNational insurance, minimum wage and investment zones were on the agenda during the autumn statement (Image: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire)

He said: "The national insurance breaks and national minimum wage rise - for us and lots of people as you look around Richmond today, we're retired - it's a non-starter. 

"Yes - I get that it's money in the pocket of our workforce, but I don't think it's doing enough.

"Shopping prices are going through the roof - everything is so expensive. I don't think Rishi and the government have quite got it right. He's not the man for the job in my eyes, and he has to be a bit smarter with things."

Despite Mr Hutchinson highlighting his displeasure with the Conservative government, he believes that Labour wouldn't do much better.

The Northern Echo: Mandy Owen, we sells flowers on Richmond MarketMandy Owen, we sells flowers on Richmond Market (Image: NORTHERN ECHO)

He added: "I think people aren't sure what to do politically at the minute - they see the Conservatives doing what they're doing to the country, while also remembering the issues when Labour were in charge."

Meanwhile, a similar sentiment was felt by traders in Richmond - who believe they have been "left behind" by the government and its Autumn statement. 

With Chancellor Jeremy Hunt putting forward £50m towards engineering apprenticeships and other key sectors, and freeports and investment zones given 10 years of financial investments, traders and independent businesses today questioned: "What about for us?"

Christine Micklewhite, from Brompton On Swale who runs Bareco, a travelling coffee shop, has called the situation "a pressure cooker" at the minute and hopes that business will return to places like Richmond. 

The Northern Echo: Christine Micklewhite, from Brompton On Swale who runs BarecoChristine Micklewhite, from Brompton On Swale who runs Bareco (Image: NORTHERN ECHO)

She said: "Money is tight at the moment - and it means that not as many people want to come out and spend money.

"I'm not political at all - but it seems like a pressure cooker situation at the moment - things need to improve.

"I'm lucky in the respect that I'm not having to pay steep rent prices, but there are rising energy costs and running costs - it's something I worry about."

It's not just Christine who worries about the future of her business.

Mandy Owen, who runs a flower business, including at Richmond Market, believes that VAT cuts and real time business relief would have been a way forward for the government during the statement. 

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She said: "It's a big struggle across the board at the minute - no one is doing particularly well. 

"The lack of money around and increased costs has led to people having less money and that's seen less footfall in Richmond and the market. 

"Fuel, shopping bills and petrol have gone up - it's tough for business at the moment. Brexit hasn't helped but I think more can be done. 

"Hopefully it doesn't get to a point where it's impossible to trade on a market like this."