Commenting on the latest unemployment figures Mike O’Brien said,
“The fall in unemployment is welcome, however, whilst local unemployment is below the May 2010 level, it remains above the level before the Global Banking Crisis. We have still not recovered the jobs we had in 2007. Many local people, including graduates, are struggling to find a job. And for those who find a job, it’s too often temporary, on a low or minimum wage and on a zero hour contract. This generation is becoming the first generation since 1945 to have less hope of a good job and a nice home than their parents. I believe that we must change things.
“The latest press statement from the local Conservative Party oozes complacency. Even their Leader David Cameron has warned Tories to take off their rose tinted glasses about the economy.
“In his most bleak assessment of the economy since 2010, Mr Cameron said on Monday (17 Nov 2014), “red warning lights are once again flashing on the dashboard of the global economy” six years after the banking crisis “brought the world to its knees”. He said we were “teetering on the brink of a possible third recession, with high unemployment, falling growth and the real risk of falling prices too the driver of growth in the early stages of the recovery, are now slowing down.” The claims by North Warwickshire Conservatives are at odds with these warnings by David Cameron.
“The fact is that Government policy is hurting local families and is not working. We know that local people are on average £1,600 worse off since 2010, particularly after rises in VAT and fuel.
“We also know Britain has become more unfair since 2010. The Tories have helped the rich by hitting poor. This transfer of wealth was confirmed by the independent report by the London School of Economics published on Monday (today). It finds that: Sweeping changes to benefits and income tax have had the effect of switching income from the poorer half of households to richer households. The poorest 5% lost 3% of what they would have earned if the tax system of May 2010 had been retained.
The better-off half of the country has gained financially, with an increase of 2% in their disposable income. In April 2014 millionaires had a tax cut, making many £40,000 a year richer -; and that’s just the size of the tax cut! That is unfair when most families face higher bills and lower income.
“North Warwickshire was not hit as hard as Birmingham by the recession because when the mines closed our Labour Council created Business Parks at Birch Coppice, Hams Hall and Atherstone which have grown over the years. I remind the Conservatives that I also fought to create those Business Parks when I was the MP and they cannot claim any credit because Conservative Councillors voted against the creation of both Hams Hall and Birch Coppice Business Parks.
“There are very real problems for local people and North Warwickshire Conservatives need to take off their rose tinted glasses – and now even David Cameron is telling them to do that.”