Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson: Tory-Lib Dem government

Bill Esterson


Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson said the Conservative-Liberal Democrat government's economic policy was condemning Sefton to "20 years of economic despair".

The MP's comments came following a report from Sefton Council which predicts that the borough will not recover from the global economic downturn until 2027 - a decade after the the rest of the country.

The Sefton Local Economic Assessment states that "employment rates in Sefton will be unlikely to return to pre-recession levels until 2027, whereas the [rest] of the UK will recover a decade earlier".

Bill said: "Sefton has been hit harder than most by this Tory-Lib Dem government's slash and burn economic policy. Two out of every five jobs in the borough are in the public sector, be that in education, health or public administration.

"But the government made no plans to help communities like Sefton which are being devastated by the ongoing attack on its working residents. These cuts are too fast, too deep and don't take into account the long-term misery they are creating.

"So what we see now are predictions that Sefton will take much longer to recover from the economic downturn which has been made worse by this government's polices."

Bill said the only way for Sefton to get back on the road to recovery is through investment in the borough and its workforce.

Bill said: "Businesses in Sefton need investment to develop and expand and we need to make sure that conditions are right for aspiring entrepreneurs to be able to set up right here.

"While the primary focus of the Core Strategy document for Sefton is on housing, we need an economic strategy for the next 15 years which includes looking at commercial land provision for new businesses to come in and create sustainable long-term employment and economic growth.

"We need to ensure that training and education is provided so we have a workforce that is up to the job and when employment opportunities arise, we have a flexible skilled workforce available to take advantage of them. And we need to ensure that workers here in Sefton are paid a fair wage for the skills that they offer an employer.

"These are basic requirements for the economic growth of Sefton, but there are major hurdles which are being made all the greater by the failure of this government to recognise the damage it is doing in the short-term which will have lasting repercussions in the long-term."

Bill is already fighting to get the government to address the impact its policies are having on Sefton.

Bill said: "The Tories and Lib Dems need to be made aware of the long term devastation they are causing for the residents of Sefton now and the younger generation coming up.

"The axing of the future jobs fund has reduced the apprentice on-the-job training opportunities for young people who are trying to break into the employment market. With the surging cost of going to university after the trebling of tuition fees, there will now be more young people needing apprenticeships and training instead of going on to college.

"So while they are creating high levels of unemployment on the back of their cuts to public sector jobs which Sefton relies on, this government is doing nothing to help the borough cope with the aftermath of its own economic policy.

"This is something which I as Sefton Central MP, my fellow Labour colleagues in Westminster and the Labour Group in Sefton are fighting to change.

"We cannot allow this government to condemn Sefton to a generation of economic despair."

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