The Metro Mayor for Liverpool City Region has backed parts of today's summer statement by Chancellor Rishi Sunak.

In a commons address, Mr Sunak announced plans to kick-start an economic recovery, including a six-month VAT cut from 20% to 5% for restaurants, hotels and attractions and an 'eat out to help out' scheme, that offers a 50% discount for every diner, Monday-Wednesday throughout August.

He also launched a £2bn fund that will pay for six-month work placements for 16 to 24-year-olds on Universal Credit, covering 25 hours per week minimum wage and national insurance and pension contributions.

Further incentives were offered for employers in the form of £1,000 grants for taking on trainees under 25 and £2,000 for each apprentice hired for the next six months, starting from August 1.

Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram said: “Over the last few months I have spoken with the Prime Minister and Chancellor about the need to introduce a Young Person's Guarantee with the guarantee of a job, training or apprenticeship for every young person out of work, so I welcome today's announcement, but will be looking at how and when funding will be distributed.

Wirral Globe: Chancellor Rishi SunakChancellor Rishi Sunak

“I also welcome the short-term measures to support hospitality and the visitor economy, which are vital for our city region.

“As the Chancellor acknowledged, the country still faces hard times ahead. Many of today’s measures are short-term and month-to-month, but really our local councils and businesses need a properly funded, longer-term plan, and many will not be able to wait until the Budget in the Autumn.

“We’ve already seen record numbers of applications for Universal Credit over the course of this crisis and, I fear that unemployment will continue to rise as the furlough scheme comes to an end, unless there is further targeted support beyond what was announced today.

“I will continue to work with local business and trade union leaders to lobby government for the extra support we need, beyond the measures announced today, to protect as many jobs possible in the coming months.”