A £30 billion package to stimulate the economy was announced by the Chancellor as the Government and Bank of England sought to protect jobs and livelihoods against the coronavirus crisis.
As he delivered the Budget in the House of Commons, Rishi Sunak said he would "do whatever it takes to support the economy" and will give "whatever extra resources our NHS needs" to combat the coronavirus outbreak.
Mr Sunak said there was "likely to be a temporary disruption" to the economy as a result of coronavirus but insisted his plans would bring "stability and security".
But what else did he announce and what impact will it have for people and businesses in the ITV Tyne Tees region?
SICK PAY AND BUSINESS TAXES
The Chancellor sought to clarify sick pay surrounding Covid-19, including meeting the cost of statutory sick pay for firms with up to 250 people and said he would abolish business rates for the next year for smaller businesses - around half of those in the UK.
- A temporary coronavirus business interruption loan scheme will be introduced for banks to offer loans of up to £1.2 million to support small and medium-sized businesses with their cash flow.
- A "plastics packaging tax" charging manufactures and importers £200 per tonne on packaging made of less than 30% of recycled plastic will be introduced in April 2022
- The National Insurance threshold will increase from £8,632 to £9,500
- The National Living Wage will rise to £10.50 per hour by 2024 if economic conditions allow
QUALITY OF LIFE
- Fuel duty will be frozen for another year, £26 billion will be invested in roads, and the Government will abolish £2.4 billion annual tax relief on red diesel in two years' time, but agriculture, rail, domestic heating and fishing will be exempt
- Duties will be frozen on beer, cider, wine and spirits, and the Government will provide £1 million to support Scottish food and drink overseas and £10 million to help distilleries "go green".
- £12m will go towards improving the availability of full-fibre broadband in areas north of the Tyne.
- £50 million has promised to improve accessibility at 12 railway stations across the country, including Eaglescliffe on Teesside.
- The Treasury will make £120 million available immediately to repair defences damaged in the winter floods and the Government will double investment to £5.2 billion flood defences over six years.
- Mr Sunak announced the redevelopment of Darlington railway station will be fully funded by the Government. It means the Government putting £80 million pounds into the £105 million project, with the other £25 million coming from the Tees Valley Mayor. It's hoped the approval of the Darlington station upgrade will unlock local capacity across the whole region. The plan will create a new local station and train platforms at Darlington Station, which will see rail capacity increase by more than 300%. Taking the current two trains an hour across the region up to a possible eight trains an hour. This gives the area a hugely improved local and national service and futureproofs the station for future HS2 services.
The Government also agreed to fund a £100m scheme to increase service frequency, reduce journey times, and improve reliability on the Tyne and Wear Metro.
The Metro Flow project will see an existing freight line upgraded and electrified in South Tyneside from September 2022, making it capable of carrying Metro services, boosting the capacity for an extra 30,000 passenger journeys every day.
Metro Flow was given the green light by the Chancellor Rishi Sunak in the Budget. The funding, which totals £104m, is coming from the Government’s Transforming Cities Fund, with the Government contributing £95m towards the total cost.
Nexus, the public body which owns and manages Metro, has welcomed the funding and said that the Metro Flow project was great news for passengers
- The Government also said it would consider how to improve the A1 and the A19 north of Newcastle.
- Teesside will receive a share of £800m for a clean energy project that is set to bring thousands of jobs to the region, while also protecting thousands more in the industries that are vital to our economy.
Meanwhile, Mr Sunak said more than £600 billion would be spent investing in future prosperity over the next five years, taking net public investment to the highest levels in real terms since 1955.
The so-called tampon tax will be abolished, and VAT on books, newspapers, magazines and academic journals will be scrapped from December 1.
A £1 billion building safety fund will be set up to ensure all unsafe combustible cladding is removed from buildings above 59ft (18m) tall.