Unemployment is one of the biggest fears for many people and the latest figures show that it is growing fast locally. In the twelve months to December 2011 the number of people out of work in Worsley and Eccles South rose by over 500, an increase of 18%. Youth unemployment in the constituency also increased by 28% and nationally the number of young people who are unemployed is at its highest since records began. This comes at a time when many people locally are struggling with the rising costs of food and fuel.
The Conservative-led Government’s policies are hurting but they are not working. We know there are further redundancies to come, with Salford council having to make four hundred people redundant due to Government cuts. Further job losses are also expected when the Government closes branches of the DVLA at Manchester and Preston.
The Government said that new private sector jobs would make up for the public sector jobs they have cut but this is not happening. There have been many jobs lost recently as retailers like Peacocks and Blacks close shops. Further job losses have also been announced by North West-based firm AstraZeneca.
We need to make sure that the costs of Tory failure are not paid by a generation of young people. It is time for the Government to abandon its failed policies and take urgent action by adopting Labour’s five-point plan for jobs and growth.
Labour’s plan for jobs includes a tax on bankers’ bonuses to fund jobs for 18,000 young people in the North West. We would also make a temporary cut to VAT, to help people struggling with rising prices and to kick start the economy. The Chancellor should bring forward these measures in the Budget before it is too late to generate the growth we need.