The latest labour market statistics show that three years on it is now clear the Government's economic plan is failing, and failing badly. 70,000 more people are now on the dole than last month, youth unemployment rose by 20,000 and long-term unemployment rose yet again.
Here in the Rother Valley long-term unemployment is still up 29% on the year, and long-term youth unemployment is up 40%. It is getting clearer by the day that the Government is letting down our area.
Yet just to add insult to injury this Government is slashing tax credits and child benefit but giving millionaires a tax cut. Families are £891 worse off because of tax and benefit changes and pay packets are now a whopping £1,700 smaller than at the last election. People have to work almost an extra month and a half to make what they did in 2010. Working people feel they are going backwards because they are going backwards.
We urgently need action to get local people into work. Ministers must get off their hands and start helping now before they condemn a whole generation to joblessness. With the IMF warning George Osborne to change course and unemployment getting worse, it’s clear the time has come for a fresh approach.
This is why I am calling for a compulsory jobs guarantee, which will get any adult out of work for more than two years, or young person out of work for a year, into a job – one they would be required to take.