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Jobs to be created for 300,000 16-24-year-olds to keep them off the dole

Wednesday's mini-Budget will see the Chancellor put jobs at the heart of his £2billion scheme to prevent a surge in youth unemployment.

Rishi Sunak will unveil a radical plan designed to keep up to 300,000 young people off the dole as the Covid-19 recession bites.

The Kickstart initiative will see the Treasury pay the wages of thousands of youngsters if firms agree to hire them for six months.

Mr Sunak's mini-budget is set to reveal how Britain will attempt to steady its economy as it comes out of lockdown forced by the pandemic

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Businesses will have to agree to provide an element of training and ministers hope that some of the youngsters will be kept on at the end of their stint.

In return, firms will receive what Treasury sources acknowledged amounts to ‘free labour’.

The scheme is the centrepiece in a financial statement that will focus on jobs.

But No 10 moved to allay tax rise fears by saying the Government would stick to its manifesto commitment for a ‘triple lock’, meaning no increases in the headline rates of income tax, national insurance and VAT before the election.

Ministers fear the lockdown will spark redundancies and last night the Chancellor said: ‘Young people bear the brunt of most economic crises but they are at particular risk this time because they work in the sectors disproportionately hit.

‘So we’ve got a bold plan to protect, support and create jobs.’

Today’s mini-Budget is designed to steady the economy as it emerges from lockdown. There will be no attempt to balance the books, which have been plunged deep into the red by the pandemic.

Mr Sunak is not even expected to publish a forecast for the public finances, which economists fear could show a budget deficit of more than £300billion – twice the level seen at the height of the 2008 financial crisis.

Instead, the Chancellor will focus on a package of spending measures and tax cuts designed to prop up jobs and spark an economic recovery.

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