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Chancellor to use Budget to get people 'back to work'

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt will use the Spring Budget to remove the barriers that prevent some groups of people from returning to the workplace, according to a statement from HM Treasury.

Benefit claimants are expected to be encouraged to move into work or increase their hours through changes to the Universal Credit system and increased job support programmes.

The government will also start paying childcare costs on Universal Credit up front, rather than in arrears. Currently many low-income working parents are unable to afford the upfront costs of childcare, making it harder for them to get into work.

According to the Treasury, the plans are expected to benefit disabled people; those with long-term health conditions; people who claim benefits; and the over 50s. Currently, there are more than a million vacancies in the economy, and one fifth of the working population is economically inactive.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said: 'For many people, there are barriers preventing them from moving into work – lack of skills, a disability or health condition or having been out of the jobs market for an extended period of time. I want this back-to-work Budget to break down these barriers and help people find jobs that are right for them.

'We need to plug the skills gaps and give people the qualifications, support and incentives they need to get into work. Through this plan, we can address labour shortages, bring down inflation and put Britain back on a path to growth.'

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