RESIDENTS, politicians and business leaders from across Bolton have given mixed views on Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s budget.

A highlight came with the announcement £20m was to be granted to a proposed new medical college to be based at the Royal Bolton Hospital.

But Labour MP Yasmin Qureshi, representing Bolton South East, says not enough has been done for people who are struggling.

She said: “Ultimately, this budget fails to provide working people with the support they need.

“In the long story of this Parliament, never has a Chancellor asked the British people to pay so much for so little, loading the burden on working people with tax rises and wasting billions of pounds of taxpayer money.

“The priorities of this government couldn’t be clearer, the Chancellor hits working people with the highest sustained tax burden in peacetime, he’s giving a tax cut to bankers who like to take short haul flights while sipping champagne. It is yet another example of one rule for the rich and one rule for the rest of us.”

Reaction was more positive from Conservative politicians,who have welcomed the “levelling up” funding granted for the medical college in particular.

Bolton North East MP Mark Logan said: “This Budget demonstrates how our government is putting Bolton on the map, investing in the town and the wellbeing of Boltonians by creating new jobs and making it both safer and easier to commute, whilst at the same time investing in better healthcare support.”

Bolton West MP Chris Green, on the college award, added: "I have been campaigning since before the last election for this investment and this huge commitment to local health and job opportunities."

Business leaders broadly welcomed measures outlined by Mr Sunak. But accountancy firm PM+M managing partner Jane Parry said more needed to be done to shift the tax burden from companies.

She said: “The Chancellor was hugely positive in his budget speech but actually this budget threw up no real surprises which was mainly due to the numerous leaks that some may cynically argue was an attempt to steer the media narrative in advance. There was lots of great news around boosting spending across the public sector. “However, the Chancellor is very clearly pushing the burden for paying for that onto business, with the National Living Wage Increase and scheduled corporation tax rate increases adding a significant burden to business.”

The hospitality industry, which has been hit particularly hard in Bolton by the pandemic, was also receptive.

Hilton Smythe Group CEO Gareth Smyth said: “The British pub has long been recognised as the beating heart of local communities. Today’s announcement of a five per cent reduction in duty on draught alcohol, will support the industry in restoring competitiveness with the off-trade market.

“And the hospitality industry has not been immune to labour shortages, especially since the pandemic.

"The reduction in the tapering rate of income from Universal Credit today, will help to ensure more people reap the benefits of being in work.”