London introduces budget to fight inflation and labor shortage

London is set to present a budget on Wednesday in a bid to get thousands of Britons back into the job market in the face of a labor shortage, another day of mass strikes amid a crisis of survival.

According to a statement from the Treasury, from around 12:30, Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt is due to unveil in Parliament a plan to “halve inflation, grow the economy and reduce debt”.

“Help will focus on people with disabilities and people with long-term illnesses, on parents, over the age of fifty and those benefiting from the minimum income (Universal Credit)”, the Treasury details.

Mr Hunt should in particular take measures to help parents, who are sometimes forced to curtail their business activity due to the exorbitant cost of childcare, and encourage older workers to remain in the labor force. should be encouraged.

The UK inactivity rate stands at 21.3% according to the latest data available, which remains higher than before the pandemic and is putting pressure on the economy, adding to difficulties hiring European workers after Brexit: Total Overall, 1.1 million jobs are unfilled in the country.

Those under 24, who had resumed studies during confinement, are slowly returning to work, facing a lack of professional opportunities.

But more than fifty thousand people have opted to take early retirement, and record numbers of Britons are being put out of work due to long-term illnesses, adding to the health consequences of the pandemic and reduced public services. is one of the

Conservative ministers also seek to apply pressure on recipients of the social minimum, with stricter application of sanctions in the event of a breach of their obligations.

– strike for wages –

Teachers march on the streets of London on February 1, 2023 (AFP – Isabel Infantes)

The issue of salaries of civil servants is also a burning issue and could be included in the budget after months of strikes for purchasing power in health or education.

Several lakh people may be separated from transport, medicine, civil servants, among others, on Wednesday but also on Thursday.

With inflation in the country at over 10%, which has eroded purchasing power, the government is expected to turn on the cost of living.

Thus pressure has mounted to encourage Jeremy Hunt not to raise the limit on bills paid by most British households, which is due to rise further on 1 April.

The chancellor also pledged to end the high energy tariffs paid by the country’s more than 4 million households, which are often modest, connected via prepaid meters.

On the tax side, the business community is concerned about the long-announced hike in corporation tax from 19 to 25% in April, while a widely anticipated hike in fuel taxes is also expected.

On Wednesday, the OBR, a public budget forecasting body, is due to publish its new forecast for the country’s economy at the same time.

If the outlook is not very encouraging – according to the IMF, London will be the only major economy to experience recession this year – the Chancellor of the Exchequer can count on better-than-expected indicators.

The UK avoided recession at the end of 2022 and growth in the country reached 0.3% in January. In addition, London has borrowed 30 billion pounds (34 billion euros) less than expected cumulatively during the current fiscal year, giving Jeremy Hunt some leeway.

The finance minister is also expected to announce his intention to create 12 “investment zones” with tax incentives, particularly located in the north and center of England, which currently complement a program of ten “free ports” on advantageous taxation. Will do Stationed in England and Scotland.

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