This year's budget contained few surprises - and while there was some extra support for families it is unlikely to remembered as a "game-changer" for the government.

The most significant elements for most families had already been trailed in advance - the cap on energy bills was retained for another three months and free childcare places were extended to more families.

Without the extension of the energy price cap, the cost of the average bill would have gone up from £2,500 a year to £3,000 in April.

This will now be held at the lower rate until at least July - and there are hopes that by then market pressures around the world will have started to bring down the cost of power.

The Chancellor extended support for working parents - providing 30 hours a week of childcare in England for children as young as nine months, matching a similar offer already in place for those with children aged three and four.

That was welcomed by Conservative MPs and by the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce.

A spokesman for the Chamber said: "The extension of 30 hours of free weekly childcare for working parents to cover children under three is welcome as it may encourage more parents back into the workforce."

More traditional budget features raised few eyebrows.

Fuel duty was frozen and a 5p cut to the rate will continue for a further 12 months, with the Chancellor predicting a saving of £100 next year for motorists.

There was good news for publicans and their customers with an increase in the draught relief, a move the Treasury calculated will make alcohol duty 11p lower on pulled pints compared to supermarket sales.

However, drinkers will see tax on other alcohol soar by 10.1% in August in line with inflation, while the price of cigarettes will become more expensive after tobacco duty was uprated.

East Anglian Daily Times: Ipswich MP Tom Hunt has previously called for the Trust to be put into special measures.

Ipswich MP Tom Hunt said the budget had not been too dramatic - but he felt that was the country wanted at the moment and he felt it was clear that the Chancellor had the respect of most people.

He said: "I think people want to have confidence that we are heading in the right direction and that is what we saw with this.

"I am hearing a great deal about the cost of childcare - and I'm sure the extension of that will be welcomed by many families."

He knew some of his colleagues had wanted the Chancellor to go further and faster with tax cuts, but he felt the cautious approach was right: "We might be able to get more tax cuts in the autumn but right now we want stability."

East Anglian Daily Times: Jack Abbott, Labour spokesman for children's services, education and skills, has signed the open letter  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

However his Labour opponent at the next general election, Jack Abbott, was not so impressed by the announcements.

He said: “It is the same old story for Ipswich, Suffolk and the wider East of England.

“Barring a small pot of cash for East Suffolk, we have, once again, been totally overlooked.

"None of the investment zones will be situated in the East of England despite the potential we have for green industries, and our calls for crucial infrastructure improvements like Haughley Junction and the Copdock Interchange have gone unanswered. 

“Throw in the usual sticking plaster policies and our shrinking living standards, it has been a terrible budget for local residents and businesses. 

“The Conservatives are in too deep - they are tired, weak and out of ideas. It is time they stand aside for a Labour Party who will get our country back on its feet and invest in our long-term prosperity.”