Labour market priorities for the 2021 Budget

IES |   | Institute for Employment Studies | Jan 2021

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This is the IES submission for the 2021 Budget which will be held on 3 March.  It argues that the Budget should prioritise action in eight areas to support a jobs recovery and labour market inclusion:

1. A targeted reduction in non-wage labour costs, by raising the threshold at which employers start paying National Insurance

2. Improved financial support for those on low incomes – including by maintaining the £20 uplift to Universal Credit, suspending the Benefit Cap, extending ‘flexible furlough’ and reforming Statutory Sick Pay and support for those who need to self-isolate

3. More targeted support for those who are disadvantaged and out of work – in particular those with health conditions, disabled people, older people and ethnic minority groups

4. Improved support for those in low paid and insecure work, through new ‘Good Work Partnerships’ and improved enforcement of employment rights

5. Deploying the National Skills Fund to support people to move into growing jobs and industries

6. Delivering on the Opportunity Guarantee for young people, so that no young person need reach long-term unemployment without having had an offer of a good job or training place

7. Ending the crisis in adult social care with a new long-term funding settlement

8. Convening a new ‘Working Together’ coalition to support full employment and decent work