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

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

In previous recessions, youth unemployment has posed a majorchallenge, as have longer term social problems which flow fromit.

Mike Seaton, Director of the Children and Youth Team, said: "It isvital to create opportunities that afford young people choice overtheir long-term prospects as well as fulfilling their personalaspirations.

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

With the economy heading for a deeper recession than previouslyforecast, the Chancellor has today announced a number of measuresdesigned to assist the most vulnerable in our society. As well asmeasures to help the under 25s, schemes to improve back to workservices and Jobcentre Plus have also been welcomed by theChurch.

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

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

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

"A recent report from the UK Government's Sustainable DevelopmentCommission - 'Prosperity Without Growth?' - asks questions abouthow we build a sustainable economy that is not based onrelentlessly increasing consumption. Christian groups have alsobeen wrestling with questions about how we create an economy thatis both respectful to the most vulnerable of God's people and alsoto His creation. With both the economy and the environment inturmoil, now is the time to begin working towards a restructuringof the economy. I hope that this budget can be a small step towardsthis."