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Stamp duty holiday and £2 billion youth jobs scheme in coronavirus recovery package
8 July 2020, 06:54
Chancellor Rishi Sunak is set to unveil a stamp duty holiday and £2 billion scheme aimed at alleviating youth unemployment when he sets out his coronavirus recovery package in his summer statement later.
His plan to boost the ailing economy by helping job creation will include helping to pay for six-month placements for some young people facing long-term unemployment.
He is also set to unveil a stamp duty holiday, extending the threshold in England and Northern Ireland to £500,000, a move which could save home buyers up to £15.000.
Analysis by Rightmove has suggested that buyers in England's Home Counties areas clustered around London could be particularly likely to make big savings.
Mr Sunak will set out the measures in his summer economic update in the House of Commons on Thursday, as he faces pressure to assist those who are most at risk from a financial crisis.
The Treasury acknowledged that young people are more likely to be furloughed under the job retention scheme which is being wound up and is due to end in October.
So a "kickstart scheme" hoped by the Treasury to create hundreds of thousands of jobs will be unveiled for 16 to 24-year-olds claiming Universal Credit and at risk of long-term employment.
Government funding would cover 100% of the minimum wage for 25 hours a week, with bosses able to top up wages.
Ahead of the announcement, Mr Sunak 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 by the pandemic."
We also know that youth unemployment has a long-term impact on jobs and wages and we don't want to see that happen to this generation.
"So we've got a bold plan to protect, support and create jobs - a plan for jobs."
But Lib Dem leadership candidate Layla Moran said the package "will sadly be too little too late for many of the corona class of 2020".
"Eighteen-year-olds could be left being paid just £161 a week under this scheme, which in some parts of the country would barely cover rent and transport costs," she added.
However, the general secretary of the Trades Union Congress, Frances O'Grady, welcomed the measure as a "good first step" to prevent mass youth unemployment.
"But we'll be checking the small print to ensure every job provides proper training and a bridge to steady employment," she added.
Among the job measures already announced are a £111 million scheme for firms in England to get a £1,000 bonus if they offer unpaid traineeships.
Mr Sunak will also detail a £3 billion green package with grants for homeowners and public buildings to improve energy efficiency.
It will include £2 billion for households to insulate their homes and make them more energy-efficient, but campaigners said the funding pales in comparison to the economic and environmental crises.