The unemployment statistics published this week show that youth unemployment has now hit a record high, with a dramatic rise in the number of young people on the dole long term.
Since January there has been a 75% rise in young people on the dole for over six months in the Rother Valley. The real worry is that we may now be seeing the scar of long term youth unemployment returning to our area.
This must be tackled now, not some time in the future. All the research shows that if young people can’t get into the habit of work early on, they will find it much more difficult to find and sustain working lives later. This is tough for young people, but it is also tough for taxpayers too as the benefits bill rises, making it harder to get the deficit down.
As much more needs to be done about long term youth unemployment, a youth jobs fund paid for by a tax on banker’s bonuses, could get 10,000 young people back into work in Yorkshire and the Humber. This would provide an immediate lifeline to young people and an assurance to taxpayers that the benefits bill would be kept in check.
Bringing forward long-term investment projects (schools, roads and transport) would also get people back to work and strengthen our economy for the future. Whilst a one year national insurance tax break for every small firm which takes on extra workers would help small businesses to grow and create jobs.
It is now clear that our young people are paying the price for this Government’s economic policies. Their decision to cut too far and too fast is hurting and just not working.