This years Spring Budget was a big moment for businesses and individuals across Cumbria. 

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said the coronavirus pandemic has left the country facing its biggest financial challenge since the Second World War.

In the Budget, the Government announced a freeze on alcohol and fuel duties, a three month extension to the business rates holiday, and an extension to the furlough scheme in its present form until the end of September.

Here’s how people reacted to the news.

On the freeze on alcohol duty, Lloyd Burnie at The Junction pub in Workington, said: "It’s irrelevant to us because we’re still shut.

"We’re shut until June at the very earliest at the moment. If they had put a tax on supermarket and off-licence sales, that might have been better and it might have helped pubs when they reopen."

The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) National Chairman, Nik Antona, said : "Freezing alcohol duty is obviously better than a rise.

"However, CAMRA had hoped to see the Chancellor announce a cut in duty on beer served on tap in pubs and social clubs to benefit consumers and help the great British pub recover and thrive in the difficult months and years ahead by being able to compete with supermarket alcohol.

"The Government’s commitment to review alcohol duties in the coming months is welcome. CAMRA will continue to call for a lower rate of duty for beer served in pubs – an option available to the Government now we have left the European Union.

"Reducing tax on beer served in pubs and social clubs would encourage responsible drinking in a supervised, community setting – as well as boosting jobs and local economies, helping consumers and benefiting pubs and licensees.”

Cumbria Tourism, who have been lobbying for an extension to business rates relief and the furlough scheme, were positive about the Budget. 

Managing Director of Cumbria Tourism, Gill Haigh, said: "We are pleased it recognises the implications of the phased way in which businesses will reopen in the coming months, with extra reopening costs, ongoing financial pressures and restrictions likely to remain in place.

"This will clearly impact on their ability to operate at pre-Covid levels for some time, so today’s news will be a big relief not only for hundreds of businesses, but also thousands of employees across our county."

In 2019, almost 48 million people visited Cumbria, contributing £3.13 billion to the local economy, and supporting 65,500 jobs.