Reaction to 2021 budget announcement

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said he'll do 'all he can' to nurse the economy back to health. Credit: ITV News

Businesses across the South and South East have been reacting to the announcement for the 2021 budget.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said he will do 'all he can' to nurse the economy back to health, announcing £280 billion of support.

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But the budget has not pleased everyone. The opposition Sir Keir Starmer said despite the eye watering amounts of money being spent it was all just 'papering over the cracks'.

Labour MP for Southampton Test Alan Whitehead gave his reaction.

Layla Moran, MP for Oxford East and Abingdon, said the budget is "full of holes".

Rishi Sunak pledged £400 million for the struggling arts sector, including theatres and museums.

Vanessa Lefrancois, Joint Director and CEO of Oxford Playhouse, said the pledge shows the government's recognition of the importance of arts and culture to the UK economy.

Paul Woolf, CEO of Kings Theatre in Portsmouth Credit: ITV Meridian archive

The CEO of the Kings Theatre in Portsmouth said while the announcement of funds is a relief, it needs to be easily accessible to those that need it.

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As widely expected, the chancellor has extended the furlough scheme, which pays 80% of out-of-work people's wages, until September.

But the scheme will change from July, with employers being required to contribute 10% to workers' pay packets, leaving the government to pay 70%.

Joe Westwood has been furloughed since January, and says this announcement is a relief for many like him.

More information on the budget here.

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