I know that unemployment is one of the greatest worries for people in Salford. We have over 3,400 people who are unemployed in Worsley and Eccles South, including over 1,000 who have been unemployed for more than twelve months.
I have never had great confidence that the Government’s Work Programme would help people to find work. Now we learn from figures released by the Conservative-led Government that their flagship Work Programme is just not working. The figures actually suggest that this programme is producing worse results than doing nothing. Only two out of every hundred unemployed people in Worsley and Eccles South have been helped to find what the Government calls a “job outcome”. According to the Department of Work and Pensions, over five people in every hundred would be expected to find work even if no government work scheme existed. So the Conservative-led Government has a scheme for the unemployed that is actually worse than doing nothing.
Worst of all, the Government scrapped Labour’s Future Jobs Fund which was helping hundreds of young people in Salford to find employment. A recent report on Labour’s scheme found that it had been a great success. The Future Jobs Fund made £7,750 per participant in wages, tax receipts and in a reduced bill for benefits. Two years after starting on Labour’s programme, young jobseekers were less likely to be on welfare support and more likely to be in jobs not subsidised by the Government. Those Conservative ministers who scrapped the scheme are letting down a generation of our young people.
Now bills for welfare are going up and the Coalition Government is borrowing more. I urge Conservative and Liberal Democrat Ministers to adopt Labour’s plan of a tax on banker’s bonuses. They could use the proceeds to get 100,000 young people across the country into work. This would mean jobs for hundreds of our young people in Salford.