RISHI Sunak has sparked fresh fury after excluding small businesses from applying to his flagship jobs scheme for young people made jobless by Covid.
Only firms that recruit at least 30 youngsters can apply for the new Kickstart Scheme, according to the small print of the programme.
The £2billion scheme helps pay the wages of new recruits aged 16-24, who are most likely to be left out of work following the Covid crisis.
But small firms can only benefit if they partner up with other organisations to hit the threshold of 30 new recruits.
Business groups accused the Chancellor duping Britain's army of small businesses.
The boss of the Federation of Small Businesses Mike Cherry stormed: “The kickstart scheme aims to help young people into work but many small businesses will be disappointed to see today’s announcement which feels more aligned to the needs of larger businesses.
“To hire 30 individuals is just beyond the means of most small businesses, many of which have far fewer employees or don’t have the HR support on hand to introduce that number of new employees.
“The time it will take to hire these 30 employees across several small firms could take months and result in increased costs for small firms at a time when they need our support the most."
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