“This Budget was a political ploy, not a plan for people and places across South Yorkshire and the North who need support to be levelled up after the pandemic.
“It was a Budget driven from Westminster, by naked political ambition and funded by half-measures. I’m pleased the Chancellor has listened to calls for ongoing support during COVID restrictions, but six-month extensions for low-income families, self-employed workers and business only mean an anxious wait until the autumn – while millions will still miss out in the meantime.
“A cursory glance the Government’s criteria for the Levelling Up Fund is symbolic of their divide and rule approach. The Chancellor has identified his own Richmond seat as ‘category one’ and relocated his Treasury office to a neighbouring constituency, but has labelled places like Barnsley and Sheffield as ‘category two’ – pushing them to the back of the queue for economic support.
“Ministers must change their approach, or they will put the country on course for a deeply divided recovery.”