WARRINGTON North MP Charlotte Nichols says the economy stands on the brink of catastrophe – and called for funding for a new hospital in the town.

Speaking at a debate on the Finance Bill in Westminster, the Labour politician called on the Government to provide more targeted support for vulnerable employers and sectors to retain jobs in the aftermath of the Covid-19 crisis.

She also urged the Government not to forget the impact of the crisis on young people.

Ms Nichols said: “Our economy stands on the brink of catastrophe.

“While I welcomed the support offered by the coronavirus job retention scheme, the approach from the Government has been one size fits all.

“More bespoke support is needed to ensure the viability of businesses and sectors that have been hardest hit by the crisis.

“The Covid-19 crisis has hit young people hard. Looking to the future, they need hope and cause for optimism.

“I have called on the Government to develop a scheme based on the future jobs fund to support young unemployed people into work and give them the opportunity to establish their careers in their chosen sectors.

“If we do not get this right, and get it right now, the impacts will be felt for decades to come.

“However, it is not just about the creation of jobs, but about where those jobs are. Young people in Warrington should be able to realise their aspirations in Warrington.

“We need investment in strategic capital projects, such as a much-needed new hospital in Warrington, with all the opportunities that will bring, from engineering and construction to the potential for a new medical school at the University of Chester, Warrington campus, and the revitalisation of our town centre.

“We also need investment in research and development in growth sectors such as hydrogen gas and in nationally important infrastructure projects, such as in nuclear.

“And we need to invest in our cultural life. Our cultural institutions are the lifeblood of our community.

“And, as we come through this crisis, the Government must act to ensure that the pandemic is not used as a cover to drive terms and conditions down even further for our most precarious and poorly paid workers.

“We need a fairer, more sustainable economy that works for the many, not the few.”