As part of a strategy to help thousands of people who are unemployed, the UK chancellor has revealed a new £2.9bn Restart scheme.
In a spending review meant to speed economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, Rishi Sunak vowed to make jobs and livelihoods his “number one priority”. However, the chancellor had been facing calls to revoke his proposal of the public sector pay freeze.
The Unite union railed against his plan to freeze pay for 5 million public sector workers outside the NHS and described it as “economic madness”.
Its general secretary Len McCluskey, called for “shot in the arm” investment in the economy to inject momentum into recovery and growth.
In a statement, Mr Sunak said: “My number one priority is to protect jobs and livelihoods across the UK. This spending review will ensure hundreds of thousands of jobs are supported and protected in the acute phase of this crisis and beyond with a multi-billion package of investment to ensure that no one is left without hope or opportunity.”
The new plan to support the unemployed was welcomed by the Federation of Small Businesses who urged the chancellor to come up with measures to help firms create and protect jobs.
Mr Sunak said £1.4bn will be pledged to fund for JobCentre Plus as well as the continued support of apprenticeship and skills.
His Labour counterpart, Anneliese Dodds, expressed disapproval of the spending review and said the chancellor wasted billions by making “irresponsible choices”.
“We now need a relentless focus on jobs and growth, and responsible choices to get the economy back on its feet again.”
Unemployment might have a serious longterm impact on the UK economy and tackling unemployment sooner could limit the impact.