Rishi Sunak announces Spring Statement - but is it enough to stop the squeeze on household budgets?

  • Report by Ann O'Connor, ITV News

Fuel duty, income tax and energy bills have all been adjusted in the spring statement, with the chancellor attempting to tackle the cost-of-living crisis.

But have Rishi Sunak's actions been enough to make a difference here in the North West?

  • Granada Reports Political Correspondent gauges reaction from Westminster

Tim Farron, the Westmoreland and Lonsdale Lib Dem MP said: "The reality is that energy costs are rising, largely because of speculation on the international markets so the energy companies are getting profits they haven't earned, they don't need and haven't planned for.

"A windfall tax on those profits would allow us to keep energy bills as they were last year and help millions of people, including thousands in my communities in Cumbria. But the government has chosen not to do that."

Liverpool West Derby Labour MP Ian Byrne said: "60% of those on benefits don't have a car. If you're in rented accommodation what are solar panels going to do for you?

"I wouldn't even say he was tinkering around the edges - he was hitting it with a feather duster.

"The Chancellor does not get the severity of the situation that people in our communities are facing."

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham said it was a package that would not close regional inequality and could see it widening further.

He said: "It was striking that levelling up, it was a very cursory mention towards the end of the Chancellor's statement and the question I would put to this government is 'is levelling up still the core mission of this government?'"

Paul Cherpeau is the chief executive of Liverpool Chamber. He said it was encouraging to see the government focussing on encouraging private sector innovation through improved R&D incentives and greater investment in training.

But he added: “Our tourist attractions and hospitality venues will be highly concerned to see the 12.5% VAT rate expire in April.

"This lower rate has been the catalyst for many to survive over the past two years and it would have provided further breathing space as they tackle a period of uncertainty. "

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak delivering his spring statement Credit: House of Commons/PA

Paul Askew, Chef Patron at The Art School in Liverpool added: “This is a dark and worrying time for the hospitality industry.

"The chancellor has today spurned a unique opportunity to level up. Raising VAT back to 20% now is absolutely the wrong time for hospitality in the UK, from restaurants and bars to pubs and hotels, and I know businesses across the land will be deeply concerned about the implications of this.”

Simon Clarke MP, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury said he understood the concerns of families.

He added: "We have to be honest about the situation we're in, with Covid and Ukraine. No government responsibly can say that it can ease all of that burden.

"It would be a flat out untruth to pretend that we can. What we have announced is not a small response to the situation."