North Devon MP Selaine Saxby has welcomed a budget she says ‘will get things done’ for families in the South West.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak delivers his Budget in the House of Commons. Picture: House of Commons/PA WireChancellor Rishi Sunak delivers his Budget in the House of Commons. Picture: House of Commons/PA Wire

In his budget speech today (Wednesday, March 11), Chancellor Rishi Sunak set out a £30billion package of measures as the Government and Bank of England sought to protect jobs and livelihoods against the backdrop of the coronavirus crisis.

Ms saxby said: 'Last year's election gave a clear verdict. Now the people's Government is delivering a Budget which delivers on our promises to the British people - it is a Budget of a government that gets things done.

'Investment will reach record levels over the next five years, as the Conservatives commit to levelling up across the country - benefitting families and businesses in all corners of the country including North Devon.'

Measures set out by the Chancellor included a £1bn business rates holiday for retail, leisure and hospitality firms with a rateable value of under £51,000.

The Government said it would fully meet the cost of providing statutory sick pay for up to 14 days for workers in firms with up to 250 employees.

He announced reforms to the benefits system to make it easier to access funds will provide a £500 million boost to the welfare system, along with a £500 million hardship fund.

Plus there would be a £3,000 cash grant to businesses eligible for small business rates relief.

Mr Sunak said: 'Taken together, the extraordinary measures I have set out today represent £7 billion to support the self-employed, businesses and vulnerable people.

'To support the NHS and other public services, I am also setting aside a £5 billion emergency response fund - and will go further if necessary.'

Announcements that affect the wider South West included a £4.2bn Local Public Transport Fund for combined authority areas to dramatically improve bus and train services in their areas.

The Government said it would develop new road schemes, including the A303 Stonehenge, A417 Air Balloon and a Severn Resilience package around Bristol.

It is also developing major road upgrades, including the A350 - M4 Junction 17 in Wiltshire, the A39 Atlantic Highway in Cornwall, A38 Walton Ashcott Bypass in Somerset and the M5 Junction 9 and A46 in Gloucestershire.

It said it would ensure the South West received its share of funding for flood and coastal defences.

It will provide £88m of additional funding for local road maintenance through the Potholes Fund in 2020-21.

Ms Saxby added: 'I am delighted that there is so much investment for green initiatives, such as restoring woodlands and speeding up the rollout of a fast charging network for electric vehicles.

'I also welcome the measures which will support communities and businesses across North Devon, like the business rates relief for small and medium size businesses, the £3000 grant for small companies and the freeze in beer and spirits tax.'