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The TUC today delivered its 1996 budget submission to chancellor Kenneth Clarke. ...
The TUC today delivered its 1996 budget submission to chancellor Kenneth Clarke.

'A budget for skills and security' calls for the 1996 budget to restore confidence in the recovery by investing in skills and jobs through a package of measures to create jobs, help the long term unemployed and encourage investment in skills.

The total cost of the TUC's measures would be £3bn and would create at least 360,000 extra jobs, work programme places and training places.

The TUC is calling for:

-- investment in social housing, school buildings and areas of urban decay

-- a new work scheme for the long term unemployed offering work at rate for the job on community projects

-- developing new high quality schemes for the long term unemployed at both local and national levels

-- support for a new European Union scheme to give workers who are threatened by industrial change new skills

-- making the labour market less risky by restoring the cuts in contributory unemployment benefit and the cuts in help for the unemployed with mortgages.

The submission points to two key weaknesses:

-- public investment is set to fall by up to 25% in real terms comparing the level of investment at the start of the recovery (1992-93) and planned spending for 1998-99. The private finance initiative has failed to deliver extra investment. The submission calls for a positive alternative to be developed which created genuine public-private partnerships and gives the public corporations access to private capital markets

-- long term unemployment: the TUC is projecting long term unemployment still at over 700,000 and by the end of 1997 or at least one in three of all unemployed. Yet the main training programmes for the long term unemployed Training for Work is being slashed, and the new Jobseekers Allowance will cut the entitlement to contributory benefit from October onwards.

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