Labour is failing on youth unemployment

August 13, 2009 1:25 PM

Newcastle East Lib Dem Parliamentary Spokesman Greg Stone has attacked the Labour government's record on youth unemployment after it emerged that almost 1 in 5 (19%) of 16-24 year olds actively seeking work cannot get a job.

Adult unemployment has now increased to 2.4 million, above the level Labour inherited when taking office in 1997. Office of National Statistics figures show that in 2008 the overall unemployment rate in Newcastle East and Wallsend constituency was the highest in the region at 13%, and that 1 in 11 people are claiming unemployment benefit.

Greg Stone said "It is now manifestly clear that the unemployment situation under Labour is far worse than when they took office and that they have reacted too slowly to the effects of the recession on employment. Labour's flagship New Deal policies on youth unemployment, on which they have spent billions to little effect, are clearly not working, and their aspirations on reducing the numbers not in employment, education, or training are going out of the window."

"It is becoming increasingly clear that the scale of the problem is becoming a crisis, and that the Government is running out of money to tackle its effects. Even alternatives such as higher education are being cut, with up to 20,000 young people expected to miss out on university places this September due to numbers being capped."

"In this context, the scale of Labour's response to date is inadequate. Much more needs to be done. If a Labour government cannot deliver on unemployment, it has failed."