The Prime Minister says the economy is working, but for too many people life is getting harder. His plan is failing because he doesn’t understand that Britain only succeeds when working families succeed.
Figures published last week show that by 2020 the number of working people reliant on Housing Benefit will have more than doubled during the decade. In Rotherham the number of working people claiming housing benefit has risen by 110% since 2010.
We need more opportunities for young people, who need routes to high skilled better paid jobs. The trusted apprenticeship brand has been undermined and the number of 19-24 year olds starting apprenticeships fell in the last year.
A low wage, low skill economy is driving up the benefits bill and undermining tax revenues. If wages fell short of expectations in the next parliament to the same extent as they have in this, Britain will face another £9 billion in social security spending – a £337 bill for every household in the country.
I would like to see apprenticeships rescued once again from the scrapheap and businesses helped to create and fill more productive, high skilled jobs. Low pay can be tackled by raising the National Minimum Wage to £8 an hour and ending the abuse of zero hour contracts would mean we can all earn our way to a better standard of living.