The Spring Budget
On Wednesday 3rd March Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, spoke to the House of Parliament to layout his government budget for this year. This budget was predicted to have good implications for people on low income and benefits, also for those who are on the furlough scheme and self-employed.
The unemployment rate is set to rise up to 6.5% this year as we start to come out of lockdown and businesses start to reopen. We have already seen on the high street companies like Debenhams and Topshop closing down, with others to follow. However, there was some good news to come out of this announcement. The £20 increase per week to Universal Credit is being extended for another 6 months, until October, so that people can cover living costs. This has been something that has helped many people and with more people likely to have to sign on, we might see it extended further in the near future.
There is also going to be the end of low pay in jobs with the national living wage to increase to £8.91 for anyone over the age of 25. This is an increase from £8.72 an hour, giving people and extra £1.52 for working an 8-hour shift. People in low paid jobs and staff who have most likely been on furlough will benefit from this the most and are the people who have suffered the most from the effect of the pandemic. Also announced in the spring budget was working tax credit cuts of £500 for people working on low income. This will mean more pay will be able to be kept each month. This also goes with the freeze on national insurance and tax thresholds, so no one will be taking home less money than they are at the moment.
The Government budget also announced that help they were providing to people to kick start their careers, upskill or retrain. The skills restart program, for anyone on Universal Credit and who has been out of work for at least 12 months, enhanced support to find jobs in the local area. They will also be introducing the Lifetime Skills guarantee which will allow anyone who has not got a level 3 qualification the chance take a course and it will be fully funded by the government. The government will also be doubling the funding available for business who take on apprenticeships. With more apprenticeships being made available in the creative industries. They also announced that they will be tripling traineeships places for work placements and employment opportunities.
After hearing about these changes and you are looking to upskill, retrain or improve your skills, Free2Learn have a range of courses to help you get back into employment. With Level 1 to 3 courses in a wide range of areas, with is something for everyone. Go to: Government Funded Courses for Unemployed- Enquire now | Free2Learn to make it happen in 2021!