Bank bonuses are on the rise and the wealthiest in our country have been given a tax cut by the Prime Minister. Yet young people, who have been hit hardest by the recession, are being left behind.
Too many young people are struggling to find work and not seeing any economic recovery at all. The number of young people aged 18-24 claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance for over a year has doubled since 2010, from 28,300 in May 2010 to 56,100 today. Since 2010 in Rother Valley the number of long-term unemployed young people has increased by 47%.
The Government has failed to get a grip on this problem. Their much-trumpeted Work Programme was supposed to be the answer yet fewer than one in five young people referred to it have found a job.
We cannot afford to waste the talents of thousands of young people and leave them stuck on the dole for years on end. It scars their lives, weakens our economy and adds billions to the social security bill.
We need an economic recovery for the many, not just a few at the top. A Jobs Guarantee would make a real difference, it would give every young person out of work for more than 12 months a paid starter job which they will have to take up or lose their benefits.
Unfortunately the Government voted down a proposal to introduce the Jobs Guarantee when it was brought to the House of Commons in November last year. I voted for it because I know it would have a real impact on the lives of local young people.
A Jobs Guarantee would be funded by taxing bank bonuses. After the global banking crisis and with bank bonuses soaring again this year, it’s only fair to pay for a jobs plan by repeating a tax on bank bonuses. This Government doesn’t understand the struggles people in our area are facing at the moment.