Labour’s shadow Employment Minister Stephen Timms MP has responded to a Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) impact analysis of the Future Jobs Fund, which shows the programme had a net benefit to society of £7,750 per participant. The Government looks like it is doing its best to hide this evidence – LINK
In contrast, the Government’s flagship Work Programme is not meeting targets – LINK
On the Andrew Marr show, David Miliband MP claimed that the Work Programme was all Programme and no Work.
With the news that we are officially in a double-dip recession period LINK it is becoming clearer that the Tory Liberal economic policies are fundamentally flawed. Yes, they inherited a large deficit, but they also inherited a growing economy.
Cutting too far too fast has recklessly damaged the UK’s good prospects of getting our economy moving again. So far, the Tory Liberals have increased unemployment by
Slashing jobs in the public sector on the unsubstantiated claim and risk that jobs will miraculously appear in the private sector to make up for the rise in unemployment in the public sector
Increasing VAT which has an impact on a business’ take home profits, meaning that they have less profit available to employ people and expand
The VAT rise also impacts on consumer spending and disincentivises businesses
Scrapping the Future Jobs Fund which equips young people to be work ready. Indeed the long term impact of this has also been ignored by the Tory Liberals. Even if there is a lack of employment opportunities in the country, it is important that these schemes are invested in so that people are equipped with the skills they need and are work ready for when the economy does recover and there are jobs for people to go into.
Unemployment should never be a price worth paying. The immediate and long-term impact of worklessness is far worse than pursuing an aim to get rid of the deficit in four years. The Tory Liberal Government have made this their priority and ignored the impact that this damaging course has on ordinary people.
The VAT rise also had a detrimental impact on inflation. Naturally, it costs more to buy products because there is more tax paid on spending money. This leaves less disposable income to the individual and what’s more, wages are not going up with inflation. People are being squeezed with higher costs and lower income.
This brings me to my final point on the deficit, which has increased under this Tory Liberal administration – LINK
Growth is a key component to tackle the deficit. Without economic growth, it becomes difficult to address the deficit. This has been the Tory Liberal Coalition’s main failure. There is the issue of the Eurozone crisis that the right wing Government will point to. However, slashing public sector jobs with a front loaded approach and the VAT rise are policies of the Government’s own making.
The Tories are out of touch with ordinary people and their stance on the 50% tax rate at this very moment in time is testament to that. The Liberals aren’t bothered about issues such as employment, jobs, the economy, crime and the NHS – this is proven with how easily they flipped their position on these what I consider core issues. They are far more concerned with the House of Lords and the electoral system and appear more principled on these issues than ones that have a more profound impact on people.
Over a million young people out of work under the Tory Liberals! I am shocked to read that since January there has been an 83 per cent rise in young people on the dole for six months or more (Source: Labour Party).
On the doorstep, young people in Dudden Hill are angry with the lack of opportunities that are available to them to gain an in into the labour market. They are ready willing and able but the Government’s austerity measures and lack of investment has cut off opportunities.
It hurts that we have a Government that believes unemployment is a price worth paying. There is an alternative to cut slower, which would recognise the human cost of the cuts.
I have blogged here about the Labour 5 point plan for jobs LINK.
The importance of the Future Jobs Fund which was introduced by Gordon Brown – later to be scrapped by Clegg, Teather, Cameron and co – should not be underestimated. What it meant that was while it may have been the case that there are not enough jobs, or enough growth in our economy to get young people into jobs, what the fund did was give opportunities to young people to be job ready and gain practical experience. This is far more valuable to our economy, the taxpayer and the individual and their family than for paying to keep them on the dole.
Tory Liberal millionaire ministers who enjoyed free University education at Oxbridge University, only later to come into power and impose tuition fees of a maximum £9k a year on young people today, have failed to understand the needs of the 16 to 24 age group.
Along with economic policy change, we also need fundamental political change. The Government should also lower the voting age to 16. If people were able to vote at 16, then maybe the voice of young people would be listened to more.
Fellow young people are telling me all the time that it’s hard for them to enter the labour market.
Many have worked so hard to gain qualifications but are then denied the opportunity to practise what they have spent years training for.
The Future Jobs Fund, introduced by the last Government encouraged firms to give young people opportunities and gave them the opportunity to gain practical working experience.
It gave recruitment subsidies which helped people unemployed for six months or more into work. Recent employment figures have indicated that it was an initiative that was working. However, the Coalition Government’s decision to thoughtlessly slash the Fund is another blow for young people.
When Yvette Cooper said that women would bear the brunt of the cuts, I disagreed and still do. I think that the real losers are children and young people who have been quite frankly targeted by this Coalition Government.
The obvious cuts that reflect this is the Building Schools for the Future cut and the Future Jobs Fund, which was designed to support young people into employment.
However, the most alarming element of the cuts to our schools is in the detail. The small hidden grants. This includes help for things such as teenage pregnancy, advice for children and families, debt advice, all being cut grant by grant as highlighted by Councillor Mary Arnold in the Willesden and Brent Times this week.
Would young people be targeted as much if they were able to vote?