There was little to cheer in Mr Osborne’s statement for young Chanel Almeida.
The 19-year-old from Hull’s Bilton Grange estate, who has a young daughter Daisy to care for, was hoping for some positive news to offer help to the young unemployed.
She was hoping there would be a ray of light from Mr Osborne to pierce the economic gloom being experienced by millions up and down the country.
But unemployment has been forecast to increase from 8.1 per cent this year to 8.7 per cent in 2012.
Despite fears, work-related benefits will be uprated in line with the unusually-high CPI inflation rate of 5.2 per cent recorded in September. Ann-Marie Benson, from the Hull and East Riding Citizens Advice Bureau, said things would become even tougher for people on benefits next year as housing benefits changes start to bite, with some people forced to find cheaper housing. She said: “Despite the fact benefits are staying the same, the cost of living is increasing and round here even where there are jobs they are usually short-term and often poorly paid.”
The Chancellor also confirmed a £940m package of measures aimed at getting young people into work, including an offer of work experience or a Sector Based Work Academy Place for every unemployed 18 to 24-year-old who wants one after three months on Jobseeker’s Allowance
But whether that will help Chanel, living not only in a city with the highest rate of people on JSA but also the highest number of people chasing each vacancy, remains to be seen.