Yesterday saw Alistair Darling divide critics with his decision to increase tax on the high earners. But what does the budget have in store for those not currently earning?
• Government support to protect 500,000 jobs.
Lower interest rates and higher state borrowing has enabled the government to save half a million jobs within the UK.
• Increase to statutory redundancy pay.
Those receiving redundancy pay will see a £30 weekly increase to their settlement, rising from £350 to £380 a week.
• Extra support through the flexible new deal.
The flexible new deal refers to a programme that aims to find more effective ways of helping over 200,000 unemployed people per year to get back into employment. After 12 months of unemployment, jobseekers will be referred to private companies that specialise in finding work for the long-term unemployed.
• Opportunities for under-25s out of work.
From January, all under-25s that are unemployed for a year will be offered a job or training place. Those who work will be receiving a wage, whilst those who train for employment will receive additional money on top of benefits.
• Extra funding for Job Centre network.
£1.7 billion extra funding will be given to the Job Centre Network in a bid to help more people find employment.
• Funding for work experience in growth industries.
There is to be an additional investment of £250m for training and subsidies to allow people to obtain skills for sectors that are experiencing high demand and growth.
• Funding to create 54,000 new places in sixth form education
Extra investment is being implemented for every 16-17 year old who wishes to stay in education and training, which will enable an additional 54,000 places in sixth forms or colleges for students within the next academic year.
With unemployment currently rising above 2 million, are Darling’s measures enough to help the job market? I invite your debate...