JOBS, the hospitality sector, and the Union were at the heart of Rishi Sunak’s emergency mini budget.

Speaking to MPs, the Chancellor laid bare the damage done to the economy by coronavirus and the lockdown, revealing that the UK economy has contracted by 25% in two months, the same amount it had grown in the previous 18 years.

Opening his speech in the Commons, Sunak told MPs that he was aware that people were “anxious about losing their jobs, about unemployment rising.”

“We're not just going to accept this,” he said.

"People need to know we will do all we can to give everyone the opportunity of good and secure work. People need to know that although hardship lies ahead, no one will be left without hope."

Key measures in the Chancellor’s summer statement included a cut in stamp duty in England and Wales, increasing the threshold to £500,000 until next March.

There was also a cut to VAT on food, accommodation and attractions from 20% to 5%, a £2bn green homes grant, and a new Eat Out to Help Out scheme to give diners 50% off meals out in August. 

READ MORE: Rishi Sunak blasted over claim coronavirus crisis has strengthened Union

On jobs, Sunak announced a new £2bn “kickstart” scheme to create thousands of placements for young people.

The fund will subsidise six-month work placements for people on Universal Credit aged between 16 and 24, who are at risk of long-term unemployment.

Sunak told the Commons: "These will be new jobs - with the funding conditional on the firm proving these jobs are additional. These will be decent jobs - with a minimum of 25 hours per week paid at least the national minimum wage."

Sunak said employers will need to provide training and support to find a permanent job, adding: "If employers meet those conditions, we will pay young people's wages for six months, plus an amount to cover overheads."

He said the hope is for the first people to be in their jobs by autumn, with an initial £2 billion made available and no cap on the number of places available.

Sunak said employers will be paid £1,000 to take on trainees and employers will be paid to create new apprenticeships for the next six months.

The chancellor rejected calls to extend the furlough scheme, saying it "cannot and should not go on forever".

He also announced a new "jobs retention bonus" to reward and incentivise employers who bring furloughed staff back.

Sunak said: "If you're an employer and you bring back someone who was furloughed - and continuously employ them through to January - we'll pay you a £1,000 bonus per employee."

The Chancellor said if employers bring back all nine million people who have been on furlough then it would be a £9 billion policy.

He added: "Our message to business is clear: if you stand by your workers, we will stand by you."

On hospitality and tourism, there was the VAT cut, which will run from next Wednesday until January 12, and what was perhaps the most eye-catching annoucement, the government funded "Eat Out to Help Out" scheme.

For the month of August, the government will subsidise 50% off the price of meals in particpating restaurants.

There are some conditions, meals will need to be eaten Monday to Wednesday, and the maximum discount will be £10 per head.

The Chancellor also used his speech to make the case for the union. 

He said the crisis had "highlighted the special bond which holds our country together."

Sunak added: "Millions of people in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have been protected by the UK Government's economic interventions - and they will be supported by today's plan for jobs.

"No nationalist can ignore the undeniable truth: this help has only been possible because we are a United Kingdom."

SNP economic spokeswoman Alison Thewliss said of the Government's "eat out to help out" scheme that some families were "barely eating" due to poverty.

She told the Commons: "Now is the time to strengthen measures to reverse rising child poverty, including a £20 per week increase in the child element of Universal Credit and child tax credits.

"This will help families put food on the table and clothes on children's backs at a time when many are struggling.

"These parents are not eating out, some of these parents are barely eating."