22 April 2009

Methodist Church welcomes the Chancellor's measures to help recession victims

The Methodist Church has welcomed the Chancellor's commitment to provide work or training for under 25s who have been jobless for more than a year.

In previous recessions, youth unemployment has posed a major challenge, as have longer term social problems which flow from it.

Mike Seaton, Director of the Children and Youth Team, said: "It is vital to create opportunities that afford young people choice over their long-term prospects as well as fulfilling their personal aspirations.

"We look forward to seeing the detail of how this will be implemented and recognise that this could offer new and exciting opportunities not just for young people but for employers. Faith-based voluntary sector organisations, such as the Methodist Church, have much to offer and we would want to encourage and assist the Government in the development of this initiative."

With the economy heading for a deeper recession than previously forecast, the Chancellor has today announced a number of measures designed to assist the most vulnerable in our society. As well as measures to help the under 25s, schemes to improve back to work services and Jobcentre Plus have also been welcomed by the Church.

The Get Fair Campaign supported by the Methodist Church highlights the plight of the poorest people who did not see the benefit of the boom years and should be protected as far as possible from the recession years.

Today marked a groundbreaking first Carbon Budget which commits the UK to legally binding caps on greenhouse gas emissions.

Paul Morrison, Methodist Church Policy Adviser, said: "The aim of reducing greenhouse gasses and increasing our renewable energy output must be applauded. We look to the Government to ensure the effectiveness of new schemes to boost renewable energy production and exploit environmentally friendly technologies.

"A recent report from the UK Government's Sustainable Development Commission - 'Prosperity Without Growth?' - asks questions about how we build a sustainable economy that is not based on relentlessly increasing consumption. Christian groups have also been wrestling with questions about how we create an economy that is both respectful to the most vulnerable of God's people and also to His creation. With both the economy and the environment in turmoil, now is the time to begin working towards a restructuring of the economy. I hope that this budget can be a small step towards this."

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