Liberal Democrat MP Richard Foord has said the government's Spring budget 'will put jobs at risk.'

The MP for Tiverton and Honiton, who represents parts of Mid Devon near Wellington, spoke out after Chancellor Jeremy Hunt revealed the government's spending plans for the coming year.

Mr Foord said: "The fact that this Conservative government has maintained the current energy price cap, rather than cutting energy bills, is a real blow to people across Devon – many of whom are already buckling under the weight of soaring rents and mortgages, rising shopping bills, and tax rises.  

“Their plans will push people here in the West Country deeper into fuel poverty, while oil and gas companies continue to make obscene record profits and get away with it. This simply isn’t acceptable and shows that Ministers are totally out of touch.  

“The budget also fails to take into account the needs of our small businesses, particularly our pubs, who are the backbone of our local communities. The decision to focus on only helping big firms is a crucial oversight and will put jobs at risk.  

"Here in rural Devon, it can take hours to get an ambulance, weeks to see a GP and months for a hospital appointment. Yet the Budget completely ignored the NHS crisis that is gripping our towns and villages.

“In these tough times, local people deserve a proper plan to tackle this cost-of-living crisis. That would mean a proper windfall tax, cutting energy bills by £500, and more investment in our local health services.” 

Wednesday's budget saw the Chancellor extend energy support for millions more households. In a statement The Treasury said: "The Chancellor’s three-month extension of the Energy Price Guarantee at £2,500 means households won’t feel the full force of Ofgem’s Price Cap between April and June – which stands at £3,280 – helping to bridge consumers into the summer.

"Lower wholesale gas prices are expected to feed through to lower household energy bills from July, where Cornwall Insight data suggests the Ofgem Price Cap will reach an estimated £2,100 a year for a typical household.

"From April, more support is coming online with 8 million low income and vulnerable households set to receive at least £900 in cash payments over the next year, benefits and pensions set to rise by over 10 per cent, and the National Living Wage increasing to a record £10.42 an hour, so that it always pays to work."

The Chancellor said: “Our plan is working – inflation falling, debt down and a growing economy.

"Britain is on a lasting path to growth with a revolution in childcare support, the biggest ever employment package and the best investment incentives in Europe.”

The budget saw an expansion in free childcare to 30 hours per week in what the government described as a 'childcare revolution'. The measure came alongside boosts to subsidised childcare for parents on Universal Credit including upfront support.

Taunton MP Rebecca Pow welcomed the new childcare measures, saying that: "Having met with nursery providers in Taunton Deane as well as with parents with young children to understand the challenges they face I know that these announcements will be welcome; thanks for listening Jeremy Hunt."

Described by the government as a 'plan to boost innovation' the budget also introduced a new 'full expensing' scheme' which will enable companies to claim 100 per cent capital allowances on qualifying plant and machinery investment to incentivise growth.

The full and entire Spring budget can be read on the government website.