LABOUR politicians have criticised Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s support package for businesses, calling it a ‘meal deal’.

Unveiling announcements in a "plan for jobs" which could cost up to £30 billion yesterday, Mr Sunak also:

- Confirmed plans to abolish stamp duty on properties up to £500,000 in England and Northern Ireland.

- Announced an "eat out to help out" plan for dining out in August to boost the hospitality sector, with a 50% discount per head from Monday to Wednesday up to a maximum discount of £10 per diner.

- Slashed VAT on food, accommodation and attractions from 20 per cent to 5 per cent, a tax cut worth up to £4 billion.

Shadow Chancellor Anneliese Dodds said:“The West Midlands was promised a new deal – what it got was a meal deal.

"The Chancellor is still pressing on with his one-size-fits-all approach to withdrawing the Job Retention and self-employed schemes, despite many businesses in Worcester working with severe restrictions.

"The scheme must now live up to its name - supporting employment in industries which are viable in the long term. There is still time to avoid additional floods of redundancy notices.”

Mr Sunak visited the city's largest employer, Worcester Bosch, this morning. During the visit the chancellor said jobs are at risk unless economic activity returns to normal.

He told Sky News: "We've moved through the acute phase of the crisis where large swathes of the economy were closed. We're now fortunately able to safely reopen parts of our economy, that's the most important thing that we can do to get things going.

"But we won't know the exact shape of that recovery for a little while - how will people respond to the new freedoms of being able to go out and about again. We have to rediscover behaviours that we've essentially unlearned over the last few months.

"But unless activity returns to normal, those jobs are at risk of going which is why we acted in the way that we did."

Councillor Lynn Denham said:"Bosch is a great local firm at the forefront of the green economy - manufacturing energy efficient products which help reduce Britain's carbon footprint.

"But the scale of this Chancellor's ambition does not match the scale of the challenge facing businesses in Worcester and across the country.

"It is a shock to hear about the closure of the Lotus factory. My sympathies are with every single person who is now faced with the choice between redundancy or moving to Norwich"

Lotus announced yesterday that the site in Worcester would be merged with the steel fabrication site in Norwich, moving together to a larger facility in Hurricane Way, Norwich.

Worcester MP, Robin Walker met the chancellor at Worcester Bosch this morning. He said: "It was a really great visit. Rishi Sunak spent a long time walking around the shop floor meeting employees and at least two hours answering questions form the national press.

"I think the key thing from the chancellors visit is the fact that his home improvement plans and focus on apprenticeships is something that will benefit Worcester Bosch - which is the city's largest employer.

"Worcester Bosch has a 1400 strong work force and whilst I don't like to see Lotus leaving to expand in Norwich they only had 42 people working in the Worcester factory."