Labour extends jobs guarantee scheme for young unemployed
Labour’s jobs guarantee scheme, initially set to run for a year to help 18 to 24-year-olds get into work and off benefits, will continue until 2020 if Labour wins the 2015 general election.
Under 25-year-olds on job seeker’s allowance for more than a year will be offered a tax-payer funded job with training for six months.
Employers will provide 25 hours’ work a week over six months at minimum wage, with the government paying the wages and National Insurance.
Labour claim the scheme is affordable, predicting costs of £1.9 billion in the first year and £900 million a year up until 2020.
The scheme will be funded by cutting pensions tax relief for people earning over £150,000, to the same rate as basic taxpayers.
Tory treasury minister, Sajid Javid, however believes that Labour have miscalculated their sums. “Labour’s sums don’t add up. They are proposing yet more unfunded spending, meaning more borrowing and more taxes to pay for it,” Javid said.
Labour’s shadow chancellor, Ed Balls, told Politics Home: “Britain needs real welfare reform that is tough, fair and that works, not divisive, nasty and misleading smears from an out of touch and filing government.”
Speaking at a building project today in South London, Balls added that the scheme will be a challenge.
“It will be a tough contract – those who can work will be required to take up the jobs on offer or lose their benefits. A life on benefits will simply not be an option.”