With unemployment in the UK at its highest rate since 1995 and the number of people claiming Job Seeker’s Allowance in East Lothian increasing month on month, county parliamentarians Iain Gray MSP and Fiona O’Donnell MP are calling on the UK and Scottish Government to get a grip and act now to avoid creating another jobless generation.
The number of people claiming Job Seeker’s Allowance in the county has risen for a fourth consecutive month.
Official figures produced by the Office for National Statistics shows that the number of claimants was 158 higher than in January 2011 and 148 higher than in December 2011.
Commenting on last week’s unemployment statistics, Fiona O’Donnell MP said:
“Unemployment in the county has risen for a fourth consecutive month. 148 people in East Lothian joined the dole queue in January this year and this total has been rising month on month since October last year.
“These figures confirm what young people in East Lothian already know – this Government is creating a jobless generation.
“Long term youth unemployment in East Lothian is up 115%, in the last year, yet the Tory-led government has still not properly replaced Labour’s successful Future Jobs fund. Our young people are paying the price for this government’s failure”.
“Complacent and out of touch Ministers need to wake up to the jobs crisis they’re responsible for and take urgent action now. They should adopt Labour’s five point plan for jobs immediately, including a tax on bankers’ bonuses to fund 100,000 much needed jobs for our young people.”
Iain Gray said:
“These figures will be grim reading for many people in East Lothian who are worried about their jobs and their children’s future. We have a wealth of talented young people in the county who are trying desperately to find jobs but they are being let down by every level of government. The SNP Government continues to hand out contracts for construction and supplies without local companies getting a fair chance. The new Forth Bridge is only the biggest example of that.
“Meanwhile East Lothian Council’s latest budget again fails to make significant investment in creating jobs for county workers. Other authorities like Glasgow and Falkirk have shown that councils can create hundreds of opportunities for youngsters if they have the will. We should be following their example.”
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