Bank bonuses are on the rise and the wealthiest in our country have been given a tax cut by David Cameron. But young people, who have been hit hardest by the recession, are being left behind.
Too many young people in Sunderland Central are struggling to find work and not seeing any economic recovery at all. The number of young people aged 18-24 claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance for over a year has doubled under David Cameron - from 28,300 in May 2010 to 56,100 today.
The Government has failed to get a grip on this problem. Their much-trumpeted Work Programme was supposed to be the answer yet fewer than one in five young people referred to it have found a job.
We cannot afford to waste the talents of thousands of young people and leave them stuck on the dole for years on end. It scars their lives, weakens our economy and adds billions to the social security bill.
Labour is determined for this to be an economic recovery for the many, not just a few at the top. So the next Labour government will get young people and the long-term unemployed in Sunderland Central off benefits and into work through a Compulsory Jobs Guarantee. The Jobs Guarantee will give every young person out of work in Sunderland Central for more than 12 months a paid starter job which they will have to take up or lose their benefits.
If the Tory-led government introduced Labour’s Jobs Guarantee today it would make a real difference. 180 young people would benefit in Sunderland Central and 4,845 would benefit in the North East. Unfortunately the Tories and their Lib Dem allies voted down Labour’s proposal to introduce the Jobs Guarantee when we brought it to the House of Commons in November last year. I voted for it because I know it would have a real impact on the lives of local young people.
The Jobs Guarantee will be funded by taxing bank bonuses. After the global banking crisis and with bank bonuses soaring again this year, it’s only fair to pay for our jobs plan by repeating Labour’s tax on bank bonuses.
The Compulsory Jobs Guarantee shows the difference a Labour government would make to the lives of tens of thousands of young people across the country. This out-of-touch Tory-led government doesn’t understand the struggles people in Sunderland Central are facing at the moment.
Only Labour will ensure there is a recovery for the many, not just a few at the top. This way we can all earn our way out of the cost of living crisis.