Conservative Party calls for employer tax cuts for hiring unemployed

The Conservative Party has called for employers to receive tax cuts for hiring the long-term unemployed.

Opposition leader David Cameron this morning set out the scheme as he explained how the Conservatives would help the UK through the economic crisis.

Unemployment soared by 164,000 in three months to reach 1.79m in August, according to latest figures. It has been predicted that 2.25 million people could be jobless by next year.

Cameron said that the Tories would slash firms’ National Insurance bills if they took on staff who had been jobless for three months.

The party would use the cash saved on unemployment benefits, creating 350,000 jobs and cutting firms’ tax burden by £2.6bn without spending a penny, Cameron claimed.

He said: “What starts as short-term unemployment quickly becomes long-term unemployment as people lose touch with the labour market and their skills. Something needs to be done, and this is the right scheme for now.”

He added that similar schemes had been used in the US and Canada, and insisted the government should implement it immediately as it was most effective “at the beginning of a recession”.

Last week, John Philpott – chief economist at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development – called for tax breaks for employers that retained staff they would have made redundant.

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