EAST Lancashire's Conservative MPs have hailed Chancellor Jeremy Hunt's Budget and its two pence National Insurance cut - but Blackburn's Labour MP said it would be 'treated with scorn' by the area's residents.

The Chancellor confirmed a 2p cut in national insurance for employees and the self-employed as the centrepiece of the Budget. 

Kate Hollern, MP for Blackburn, said: "This Budget is likely to be treated with scorn, as people will see through the blatant façade of menial changes to National Insurance contributions.

"New Economic Foundation analysis highlights that a 2p cut in NICs disproportionately favours high-income households, London, and the South East.

"With 40 per cent of the benefits from this change going to the richest fifth, and only three per cent going to the poorest fifth, this is a Budget that simply does not address our society’s major challenges.

"Deepening regional inequality is harming the country’s prospects and stifling opportunity.

"According to the Centre for Cities Outlook 2024, Blackburn is now one of six UK locations where over a third of children are in households in relative poverty. In 2014, there were none.

"By no means whatsoever do the Chancellor’s plans address the real needs of the people.

"Hunt’s choices are at the expense of critical investment in our deteriorating public services, which continue to be starved of resources.

"Everyone knows that this is actually a Budget that reflects long-term decline under the Tories."

Hyndburn MP Sara Britcliffe said: "The reduction to NICs, combined with the reduction in autumn, will save average workers £900 a year.

"That amounts to a huge tax cut for working age people, something I welcome and something that will allow Hyndburn residents to keep more of their own money."

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Rossendale and Darwen MP Sir Jake Berry said: “The Chancellor’s announcement that he is slashing National Insurance by another two pence in the pound is welcome.

“This means a plumber in Darwen will be better off by £846; a nurse in Waterfoot by £1,053; and a teacher in Bacup by more than £1,270.”

Ribble Valley MP and deputy speaker of the House of Common Nigel Evans said: "Amongst measures which will help Ribble Valley families are the fuel duty freeze which is extremely important for rural dwellers where a car is not a luxury but a necessity and the National Insurance cut."

Pendle MP and health minister Andrew Stephenson said: “The further National Insurance tax cut will be worth over £900 for the average worker.

“Having promoted Barnoldswick’s Rolls-Royce sites as ideal places for the development of small modular reactors' components, the move to the next stage of bidding process this summer is good news for Pendle.

“Motorists too will be relieved that fuel duty is staying low.”

Burnley MP Antony Higginbotham said: "With inflation failing, debt under control and investment going into our public services, it’s right that those who get up each morning and go to work in Burnley and Padiham are rewarded with more money in their pockets."

Mr Hunt also offered more help with child benefits for parents earning more than £50,000 and cut the top rate of capital gains tax on property sales – arguing that reducing it from 28% to 24% will bring in more money because of increased activity.

But as he insisted those with the “broadest shoulders” will pay more, he committed to scrapping the non-dom status for wealthy foreigners, putting the £2.7 billion a year raised as a result towards tax cuts.