May 22, 2012

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I have met a number of constituents who have worked hard all their lives but now are struggling to find a job. 

One told me that he was made redundant three times. He went to an interview recently for a job which he had not done before and was told that he was too well qualified.  He had to explain to the employer that the recession meant that there were lots of over qualified people who had lost their jobs because of the economic climate. 

 

Employers have a very good opportunity to snap up very capable and experienced people who in other times would not be available. By employing such capable people, their businesses will be able to grow and succeed, which hopefully will benefit others in the future as they create new jobs. I hope that employers see the opportunity in the difficulties faced by us all in this difficult time. 

 

In the long run, we need employers to thrive so that there are jobs for both experienced staff and for young people.

 

The Chancellor, George Osborne told the House of Commons that austerity was wrong for the rest of Europe. By the way, austerity is just a fancy name for deep cuts in public services like police, fire and the NHS. 

 

Remember that in the rest of Europe, the economies have grown over the last two years, while in Britain, we are back in recession. 

 

Recession means people losing jobs, it means businesses struggling and it means less money for the hard working majority and for pensioners. So it is in Britain’s interest for our economy to grow and for businesses to thrive and create the jobs so desperately needed. 

 

Remember that over one-million young people are out of work, many of them for over six months. Long spells of unemployment when you are under the age of 24 make it very hard to catch up later in life. That is what happened under the last Conservative Government in the 1980s when a generation of young people never found decent jobs especially across Merseyside. 

 

Which brings us back to George Osborne. If austerity is wrong for France and Germany, then why is it right for Britain? Why is it right to cut 5,000 front line police officers and 3,500 nurses? Why is it right to cut council services for the most vulnerable people and why is it right to cut the Future Jobs Fund which was helping young people to find a job?

 

The economy in Britain was growing two years ago, when Labour was still in power. That growth ended with the coalition government’s austerity package of cuts. Those cuts choked off the recovery and the growth and the creation of jobs. 

 

We need growth so that people can find jobs, especially our young people. The lessons of the 1930s are that cutting spending on its own makes things worse. The debt has gone up not down thanks to this government’s approach. They have cut spending but they have not ensured growth. 

 

Once the economy is growing and jobs are being created, then those people losing their jobs in the public sector would have somewhere to go. But cutting the public sector before the private sector was strong enough to help, was completely the wrong approach to solving our debt problem. 

 

The government has made things worse not better. 

 

Austerity is the wrong approach in the rest of Europe. It is the wrong approach here as well.