North East MPs react to Chancellor Rishi Sunak's plans to cut VAT and protect jobs in the aftermath of coronavirus

Rishi Sunak delivered his summer statement with Prime Minister Boris Johnson watching on from the frontbench. Credit: Parliament

Chancellor and Richmond MP Rishi Sunak has announced a raft of measures worth up to £30 billion as part of his plan to rescue the economy in the aftermath of coronavirus.

The “eat out to help out” scheme which will see the government offer 50% off, up to £10 per head, on meals out on certain days of the week during August.

Mr Sunak said he wants to get pubs, restaurants, cafes and B&Bs “bustling again”. He unveiled reduction in VAT from 20% to 5% for the next six months on food, accommodation and attractions.

Sunderland MP and Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury Bridget Phillipson told ITV Tyne Tees her party "welcomed many of the measures the Chancellor has announced today" but called on the government to provide targeted support for certain sectors.

She later tweeted that the Chancellor's plans "didn’t match the scale of the challenge facing the country." "It was policymaking on the hoof - and policymaking to mask failure", she wrote. "This was the Chancellor's last chance to avoid a job crisis. He missed it."

Matt Vickers MP, who represents Stockton South, said the government was "protecting jobs", "looking to create new jobs" and "retraining those who are looking to find new jobs."

The progressive think tank IPPR North is calling on the government to empower England's region's to shape their own economy recovery from the pandemic.

Senior Research Fellow Anna Round said the local leaders needed the budgets and the powers to prevent the crisis from exacerbating regional inequality.