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The majority of London boroughs will see more than 1,000 residents spend their second consecutive Christmas on the dole, a union claims.

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The TUC has published the results of research which shows 27 out 33 London boroughs face increases in long-term unemployment.

Leaders used the figures to criticise the government’s Work Programme, which it said was poorly funded and failing to get people back to work.

The most recent figures suggest London had 64,785 people out of work for more than 12 months.

General secretary Brendan Barber said: ‘While the recent fall in unemployment has brought some seasonal cheer, it’s very concerning that 400,000 people are set to spend their second successive Christmas on the dole, with many more out of work and unable to claim.

‘There is never a good time to be out of work but it’s particularly tough at Christmas when there is a lot of pressure to buy presents for the kids and big family reunions that add to food and transport costs.

‘These long periods of unemployment not only carry a harsh financial penalty, they can knock people’s confidence and cause permanent damage to their career.”

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