Unemployment hits 17 year high: Labour MPs respond

Today’s latest figures on unemployment are of huge concern.  Today Labour MPs respond on today’s figures showing unemployment in Southampton continues to rise under the Tory-led Government and Tory Council.

John Denham, Labour MP for Southampton Itchen, said:

“Long term youth unemployment doubled in my constituency last year.  This is far above the average in the South East and indeed the nation as a whole.  I’m deeply concerned by this and by inaction from the Government to tackle rising unemployment.

“Southampton’s young aspiring people will rightly be asking why this has happened and what will be done.

“There is a better way – and Labour has been very clear about this – if the Tory-led Government establishes a £2million tax on bank bonuses, 5000 more jobs could be created for young people in our region.  Jobs which Southampton’s young people urgently need.”

Alan Whitehead, Labour MP for Southampton Test, said:

“For months now we’ve been calling for the Government and the City Council to put a stronger focus on apprenticeships and house-building to get our economy moving again.  This is all achievable within current spending limits, and frankly the continued complacency we’re getting from the Conservatives is making a bad situation worse.”

Liam Byrne MP, Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary said:

Last month Chris Grayling told us how the labour market was stabilising, but today’s figures now confirm we have an unemployment emergency.

Unemployment has now soared to highest level for a generation and long term youth unemployment has more than doubled since January last year. In America, Germany and Japan unemployment is either flat or falling. This is new proof that the Government must change course.

“The Government’s welfare to work programmes are now clearly failing and the welfare bill is going through the roof.

“Tax rises and spending cuts that go too far and too fast have choked off the recovery and backfired. The Government is now set to borrow £158 billion more than planned – more than £6,500 for every household in the country. This isn’t borrowing to support the economy through difficult times, but a huge new bill for failure.

“The Government must change course and adopt Labour’s five point plan for jobs, including a tax on bankers’ bonuses to fund 100,000 jobs for young people and a temporary VAT cut to help people struggling with rising prices and kick-start the economy.

“Complacent and out of touch Ministers need to wake up to the jobs crisis they’re responsible for and take urgent action now”

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