Govt needs to do more, warns Healey

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WENTWORTH and Dearne MP John Healey is urging the government to do more to boost jobs and growth.

Figures released last week by the Office of National Statistics show unemployment increased nationally by 114,000 people in the three months to August.

This figure now stands at 2.57m – the highest it has been since 1994.

Across Yorkshire, unemployment increased by 8000 on the quarter and the number of people claiming Job Seekers’ Allowance was also up by 2,200.

Alarmingly, in Doncaster there are now 1,267 more people on the dole compared to a year ago.

Furthermore, the unemployment total for 16-24 year olds hit a record high of 991,000 in the quarter, a jobless rate of 21.3 per cent.

And the number of people out of work and claiming benefits rose 17,500 to 1.6 million in September.

Mr Healey, who recently stepped down as shadow health secretary to spend more time with his family, is backing a five-point plan for jobs and growth being put forward by Labour.

The plan includes a tax on bank bonuses to fund 100,000 jobs for young people, a temporary VAT cut and a one year national insurance tax break for small firms taking on extra workers.

Mr Healey, who voted in favour of the alternative scheme in the House of Commons, said: “These shocking figures are clear proof that the government is making the wrong decisions.

“They choked off the recovery last autumn and there has been no growth now for nine months.

“Slower growth means rising unemployment and higher government borrowing.”

He added: “There are now more people out of work than at any point since 1994 and more young people out of work since records began in 1992.

“In South Yorkshire, there are 10 people chasing every job.

“We need a change of direction. We need a new plan.”

Economics experts claim unemployment is falling in the Eurozone, America and Japan – but rising in Great Britain.

UK figures can be seen online by visiting www.ons.gov.uk