“Today the Chancellor had the chance to safeguard the next generation from the hardships of recession and deprivation. He had the chance to deliver long-term investment in public services and end a North South divide in police and public service funding.

“While I welcome the commitment to the devolution of more power to the North-East, today’s statement simply didn’t reflect what the people of our region need now. We have the highest level of child poverty, our public services are beyond breaking point and the police are being denied the officer numbers needed to keep us safe. This statement did not resolve any of this.

“Northumbria has 12 per cent fewer officers than it did in 2010 and it emerged this week that some forces, noticeably those in the south of England, are now boasting higher overall numbers than they had at the start of 2010. Yet there was no mention of police or police funding in the statement.

“Government is still failing to commit sufficient funds into policing because Government expects the bill to be picked up by hard hit households. The Chancellor said with the plans they’ve tried to be fair, well they haven’t tried hard enough. None of this is fair, particularly in the North-East.”