I welcome the news that the Government has at last given a commitment to fund the replacement of the Metro’s failing rolling stock – something I have campaigned for with colleagues for many years.


However, there was nothing in the Chancellor’s speech to address the underlying serious issues that Sunderland has with high unemployment, low wages and the impact of the enormous cuts this Government has inflicted on our people.

There was no mention of removing the public sector pay cap, which means our teachers, healthcare assistants and firefighters will continue to face a real terms pay cut.

The abolition of stamp duty for first time buyers up to £300,000 will not benefit people in Sunderland and the North East, where the average house price is £133,000.

Yet again this is putting more money into the South of England whilst inflicting more cuts to local authorities like Sunderland.

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