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A £1bn mass job creation programme is the centrepiece of the jobs package in today’s Budget. Alistair Darling is determined to avoid writing off a generation of young people and repeating the mistakes of past recessions. The irony is that he has opted to revamp a (relatively successful) Thatcherite scheme to do so.
The new programme will be called “Jobs for the Future”. Local authorities will bid for funds to set up youth employment schemes. Central government will effectively pay for part time jobs in the community. About 150,000 under-25 year olds will be taken off the dole and put to work by councils. Ministers want to create an additional 100,000 jobs in the private sector, by providing an employment subsidy for sectors such as social care. Read more
Some MPs are starting to panic about the plans for a daily attendance allowance. They are not so worried about the clocking in system, or what would happen if they are ill. The big concern is whether they’ll have any money for their long, long summer holiday.
Gordon Brown wants to push through his reforms by July — just before MPs disappear for a 12-week recess. This could mean that MPs will be forced to wait till October, when they next attend the Commons, for the funds to run their second homes. Think of all those mortgages to pay. How will they cope? Read more
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