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hancellor Rishi Sunak will commit more than £500 million in fresh funding to help people back into work as he seeks to stem the continuing turbulence of the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr Sunak is shifting the focus on to getting people into new or better jobs as the Government comes under sustained pressure over a major squeeze on living standards.

The extra funding comes with Mr Sunak and Boris Johnson under pressure from within the Conservative ranks about the historically high tax burden.

Funding for the new package will not be set out until the spending review and Budget later this month.

Mr Sunak will use his speech at the Tory conference in Manchester on Monday to set out his vision of shaping the economy around “the forces of science, technology and imagination”.

The Chancellor will pledge to “make the United Kingdom the most exciting place on the planet” through enhanced infrastructure, improved skills and scientific investment.

I want to make sure our economy is fit for the future, and that means providing the support and skills people need to get into work and get on in life

He will announce the new funding will be used to help workers leaving the furlough scheme and unemployed over-50s back into work, while the “kickstart” scheme for young people will also be extended.

The Chancellor’s speech comes at a difficult time for the economy, with warnings of a cost of living crisis for some households who face rising energy bills, price hikes in shops and a cut to Universal Credit.

Household budgets will sustain a further blow next April when national insurance contributions rise by 1.25% to help fund the NHS and social care.

Ahead of his first in-person speech at the conference as Chancellor, Mr Sunak said he is “ready to double-down” on his promise to “do whatever it takes” to recover from Covid-19.

He said the furlough scheme protected 11 million jobs and the UK is “experiencing one of the strongest and fastest recoveries of any major economy in the world”.

The £3,000 incentive for new apprentices will be extended until the end of January (PA) / PA Wire

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