Great Britain

Rishi Sunak unveils £2.9bn package to help 1m unemployed Brits find jobs

RISHI Sunak today unveils a £2.9billion plan to help unemployed Brits find work.

The Chancellor, ahead of his Spending Review, insisted his “No 1 priority is to protect jobs and livelihoods” from the devastation of the Covid crisis.

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He will reveal a three-year programme — the Restart Scheme — to try to assist more than a million long-term unemployed.

The concept is to give those who have been out of work for 12 months-plus with regular intensive support to suit their circumstances.

But the Treasury estimates the scheme could be successful for only around 300,000, though they claim this will make it worthwhile.

That is just 70,000 more than would find work without the extra support, costing taxpayers around £42,000 for each job found.

A similar scheme launched by the 2010 Coalition Government stimulated £3.21 of extra economic activity for every £1 spent in four years.

There will be a further £1.4billion of funding for Job Centre Plus.

Mr Sunak will also confirm funding for the next stage of his Plan for Jobs, including £1.6billion for the Kickstart programme, which the Treasury says will create up to 250,000 subsidised roles for youngsters.

He added: “The Spending Review will ensure hundreds of thousands of jobs are supported and protected in the acute phase of this crisis.”

Mr Sunak will present grim new economic data from the Office for Budget Responsibility that will reveal the impact of England’s second national lockdown.

But in a boost for the public finances, he is poised to slice around £5billion from Britain’s bloated foreign aid budget to help pay for pandemic outlay.

Meanwhile, Mr Sunak is urged to ditch proposals to tax pension contributions as if they were income.

The Treasury is said to be considering a 20 per cent levy to cover the cost of coronavirus — but industry bodies warn it will push people away from savings, while leading more pensioners into poverty.

Pension loss fear

MILLIONS of Brits could see £100billion wiped off their pensions and investments if Chancellor Rishi Sunak scraps a key inflation measure in today’s spending review.

The Retail Prices Index could be phased out between 2025 and 2030 and replaced with the typically lower Consumer Prices Index measure.

For someone with a £20,000 annual pension, the switch could cost them £119,000 in lost income over 30 years.

Tom Selby, of City firm AJ Bell, said the damage could be “colossal”.

Rishi Sunak says protecting people's jobs a 'priority' as he's quizzed on possible Spring tax hike

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