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Response to the Pre Budget Report

04 December 2008

Commenting on the Pre Budget Report, given by Chancellor Alexander Darling on Monday 24th November, David Coats, associate director of policy at The Work Foundation, said:

'This was an emphatically business-friendly package of measures, but one which contained some more modest good news for those of us urging the Chancellor to take decisive action over the worrying recent rise in unemployment.

The £3 billion capital spending on housing, schools and so on is very welcome and is likely to create jobs. The £1.3 billion going to JobCentre Plus, the New Deal, and schemes such as train to gain, are essential in configuring the system for a period of higher unemployment.

‘While the VAT cut is welcome, it is not the best targeted measure and will only indirectly increase the purchasing power of consumers. There are better ways of boosting demand: our preference was for a one-off tax credit to put more money into the pockets of those most likely to spend it.’

Notes to editors

David Coats is available for interview.

Media enquiries to Stephen Overell on 00 44 (0) 207 976 3507 or 07970 765251.

The Work Foundation is an independent research and consultancy organisation.