Durham MP claims Ministers are in “fantasy land” over finance plans

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AN MP has accused the Government of living in “fantasy land” in response to the Budget.

Speaking in the Commons, Roberta Blackman-Woods, MP for Durham City, said despite unemployment in the North East being 10.8 per cent, compared to 6.6 per cent in the South East, there was hardly any mention of the region in the Chancellor’s statement.

She argued that plans to reduce the wages of 300,000 North East public sector workers in a regional pay deal would remove a further £78million from the area’s economy.

Dr Blackman-Woods said: “This Government is living in a fantasy land.

“We have record unemployment in the North East and the situation is particularly bad for young people – the region saw a 120 per cent rise in youth unemployment in 2011. Yet the Chancellor has offered no coherent strategy for growth in the North East.”

She added: “This Government needs to bring forward investment in home building, schools and transport.”