Bank levy to help unemployed young
Chancellor George Osborne will use Wednesday's Budget to help jobless young people find work, funded by money from the Government's £2.5 billion levy on banks, he has revealed.
Mr Osborne said the Budget would "create the most apprenticeships this country has ever seen" as part of a package designed to fuel growth and enterprise.
The Chancellor also gave his strongest signal yet that he will use the Budget to hold down fuel duty, promising motorists struggling with record prices of £1.30 or more a litre: "I will do what I can to help."
His comment will fan speculation that he will cancel a 1p rise in the duty scheduled for April 1.
Mr Osborne has said that the March 23 Budget will mark the point at which the Government moves "from rescue to reform", building on its drive to reduce Britain's deficit with pro-growth measures to boost GDP.
He also revealed that his statement will include measures to tackle record youth unemployment.
Official figures released earlier this week showed 974,000 young people out of work in the three months to January, the highest since records began in 1992. The youth unemployment rate rose by 0.8% to 20.6%, also a record high.
Writing in the News of the World, Mr Osborne said: "Britain has to start making things again. So this week's Budget will be unashamedly pro-enterprise and pro-jobs. We need to support small businesses, cut red tape and take on the forces of stagnation, so that our economy can create the jobs we need."
He added: "Another group in particular need of support is our young people. Youth unemployment started rising even before the recession but then reached record levels.
"That's why I'll be using some of the money our new Government has raised from taxing the banks to create the most apprenticeships this country has ever seen, and a big expansion of work experience places.This comes on top of major welfare reforms that will mean it always pays to work."