Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced plans for a £3bn ‘Restart’ unemployment scheme to help those who have been out of work for more than 12 months with tailored job-seeking support.
Unemployment in the UK is expected to rise to a peak of 7.5% in the second quarter of next year, according to the Office for Budget Responsibility.
Furthermore, Sunak revealed the government will increase the national living wage by 2.2% to £8.91 per hour, as well as extending eligibility to those over the age of 23.
The chancellor also confirmed a freeze to public sector pay, with some exceptions for NHS workers.
Sunak said: “Coronavirus has deepened the disparity between public and private sector wages.
“Unlike workers in the private sector who have lost jobs, been furloughed, seen wages cut and hours reduced, the public sector has not.”
He added: “In such a difficult context for the private sector, especially for those people working in sectors like retail, hospitality and leisure, I can not justify a significant across the board pay increase for all public sector workers.”