Responding to the Chancellor’s 2020 Spending Review, Catherine said:
“Coronavirus has been devastating for our country but it’s the irresponsible choices made by the Government which have led to the worst economic downturn and the highest excess death rate in Europe.
“Billions of pounds have been wasted and mismanaged, test and trace errors have enabled the virus to spread, and growing regional inequality continues to leave the North East further behind.
“Instead of taking money from the pockets of our key workers and hard-pressed families – the people who have kept this country going through the pandemic – we need a relentless focus on jobs and growth to get the economy moving again.
“Businesses in Newcastle need support to get through a difficult winter and workers facing redundancy need support to retrain and find new jobs.
“It’s vital that test and trace is fixed too so we are not forced into another devastating lockdown in the New Year before the vaccine arrives.
“After a decade of broken promises and penalising the poorest people and the most challenged regions, I have no confidence that this Government have a credible plan to get the country back on track.”