Sunderland MP Sharon Hodgson hits out at 'ultra-shambles' Budget

MP Sharon Hodgson.
MP Sharon Hodgson.
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Sunderland MP Sharon Hodgson today hit out at Chancellor George Osborne, calling his Budget an "ultra-shambles".

The Member of Parliament for Washington and Sunderland West spoke out as the Commons debate on last week's Budget entered its third day.

The Chancellor has been forced to drop cuts to Personal Independence Payments (PIP) for the disabled, while ministers will not seek to oppose amendments to scrap the so-called "tampon tax" and an increase in VAT on solar panels.

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith cited concerns over further cash cuts for the most vulnerable to help those who are better-off as the reason for his dramatic resignation on Friday.

Mrs Hodgson labelled the Budget an "ultra-shambles".

She said: "As the Chancellor obviously sees himself as the king of the north with his northern powerhouse project, what he needs to realise is there's a lot more north before he gets to the wall - that's Hadrian's Wall, not the one in Game of the Thrones.

"If the Chancellor truly wants to see himself as king of the north - and we all know he has, or should I say now, had - leadership ambitions for higher office, then he needs to realise there's a large section of the north between Yorkshire and Scotland - and it's called the North East - and to ensure investment is directed to our region, too."

Labour has urged the Government to rule out disability benefit cuts until at least 2020 as they called for Mr Osborne to redo his Budget.

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell said an "enormous hole" has appeared in the Budget within five days after cuts for the disabled were shelved,

Communities Secretary Greg Clark has admitted that ministers failed to identify the "least worst option" in deciding where to cut spending in last week's Budget.

He insisted the overarching need for deficit reduction remains, but acknowledged "we haven't always got it right first time".