TWO MPs representing constituents across the Northwich area have offered differing opinions over the chancellor’s mini budget.

On Wednesday, Rishi Sunak announced a range of measures aimed at stimulating the country's coronavirus-hit economy.

Plans include restaurant discounts in August, while pubs, hotels and zoos will be cheaper as VAT is slashed.

He also announced changes to stamp duty and plans to employ Jobcentre staff and careers advisors.

But Labour MP Mike Amesbury has branded the Government's efforts to kick-start the economy ‘more of a meal deal than a new deal’, and says that some of the chancellor’s plans were not signed off as being value for money by the civil service.

He also says that pledges to subsidize meals out and pay firms for each employee retained into the new year came without the approval of the permanent secretary at HMRC, Jim Harra.

“It's very much a mixed bag and more of a meal deal than a new deal,” said the Weaver Vale MP.

“I welcome recruitment of more Jobcentre staff and careers advisors, as that’s something I called for repeatedly when I was shadow employment minister.

“But what we really needed to see was specific, targeted help for struggling industries and also more money for local government, which is facing a £10 billion black hole.”

This is in stark contrast to comments made by Eddisbury Conservative MP Edward Timpson, who welcomed the measures.

He said: “We should not underestimate how difficult recent months have been for so many businesses up and down the country.

“Now that the virus is coming under control, we must turn our attention to creating and protecting jobs.

“I hope that everyone in Eddisbury will answer the call to Eat Out to Help Out. This fantastic new voucher scheme, along with the cut in VAT, is a much-needed lifeline for many hospitality businesses.

“Our plan for jobs will turn our national recovery into millions of stories of personal renewal – as the Conservatives continue to stand squarely behind people, businesses and our economy.”

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