Budget 2021: Nobody predicted what country has been through since 2019, says Tory MP

Matt Vickers suggests Chancellor Rishi Sunak has faced unprecedented pressures ahead of his 2021 autumn Budget.

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Tory Matt Vickers who became a MP in 2019, suggests Chancellor Rishi Sunak has faced unprecedented pressures ahead of his 2021 autumn Budget.

Speaking to Simon McCoy and Kirsty Gallacher on the Great British Breakfast on GB News, the MP for Stockton South said: "Nobody foresaw what we've been through since since I became an MP...nobody predicted what was about to happen. We've now got through that, we were facing up to the challenges...we're about to start building back."

Mr Vickers said it was time to start looking at where the country goes from here, telling GB News viewers that he could point to "millions and millions" of investment that hadn't previously been seen in the north "for decades and decades", adding he thought it was a very exciting time.

He told Simon McCoy the government has been undertaking a fundamental review of business rates and the issue was "huge" for business in his area and across the country, having highlighted that hospitality and retail were disproportionally hit by business rates.

Discussing the NHS, Mr Vickers said he had recently undertaken a shift at his local hospital which had reiterated the importance to him of getting rid of a backlog built up when elective surgery was "shut down" over the coronavirus pandemic.

He told Kirsty Gallacher: "We're going further with pumping more money to get that backlog."

A huge £6bn is being committed to clear the NHS backlog and help get the health service back on track.

Mr Sunak is expected to set out investment in NHS capital funding that will support the aim to deliver around 30% more elective activity by 2024-25 compared to pre-pandemic levels. This is equivalent to millions more checks, scans and procedures for non-emergency patients, the Treasury said.

In an effort to address the Covid backlog of people waiting for checks, tests and scans, and help get waiting lists down, £2.3 billion of the funding package will be used to try to transform diagnostic services.

While £2.1 billion of the £5.9 billion total will be invested in technology and data in a bid to improve efficiency and security within the NHS.