Labour to pledge a job for every young person out of work for a year
Labour would spend £5.5bn for the 'compulsory jobs guarantee scheme'
Andrew Grice has been Political Editor of The Independent since 1998. He was previously Political Editor of The Sunday Times, where he worked for 10 years, and he has been a Westminster-based journalist since 1982. His column, Inside Politics, appears in The Independent each Saturday.
Monday 10 March 2014
A Labour government would spend £5.5 billion to guarantee a job for every young person who has been out of work for a year and every adult unemployed for two years, the party will announce on Monday.
Labour will pledge that its “compulsory jobs guarantee scheme” will be included in the party’s manifesto at the general election next year. It will also promise that the programme would run for the five-year parliament, rather than the one year announced previously.
It would be funded in the first year by a tax on bankers’ bonuses to raise between £1.5 billion and £2 billion. To answer criticism from the Conservatives that Labour has already promised to spend this money on several different projects, Ed Balls, the shadow Chancellor, will say that this tax would be used solely for the jobs guarantee. In future years, the scheme would be financed by reducing the tax relief on pension contributions for people earning over £150,000 to 20 per cent, to raise between £900,000 and £1.3 billion a year.
Speaking in London today, Mr Balls will say: “It will mean paid starter jobs for more than 50,000 young people who have been left on the dole for over a year.” Unemployed 18-24 year-olds and adults aged 25 and over would lose their Jobseeker’s Allowance if they refused to take up the job offer.
A Labour government would pay the wage and employer’s National Insurance contribution for 25 hours a week for six months at the national minimum wage, and would give the employee £500 towards training and administration costs.
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