Gordon Brown, the chancellor, is expected to unveil the 'employment grants' in his Budget in three weeks time, as a key element in a range of measures to boost enterprise and jobs.
People who have been out of work for more than 12 months will qualify for lump-sum payments of£300 to£400 to ease their transition back into the labour market. The grants will help them meet living costs as they await their first pay packets after losing social security benefits and to maintain their housing benefit payments for two to four weeks.
The chancellor will say today: 'Our programme is about getting unemployed people into businesses not into benefit offices. It is not about dependence, it is about dynamism. It is not about subsidies, it is about success. It is a get up an go approach, not a giro approach.'