Labour MP for Manchester Central Lucy Powell has warned of the “human cost” of the Government’s failed austerity drive as long term unemployment figures released by the Government show that people over 25 unemployed for over two years has rocketed by 55% in the last year (520 people in May 2012 – 805 people in May 2013).
Whilst the figures show a drop in youth unemployment this increase in long term unemployment is worrying, adding to the benefit bill and impacting individuals, families and communities.
To coincide with the figures the Government has released figures showing that average incomes fell for the second year in a row in 2011-12 with average incomes no higher than they were a decade ago once inflation is taken into account. Absolute poverty is at the highest level since 2002-03 with over 10 million households living below the breadline.
Lucy Powell MP said: “These terrible long term unemployment figures are an indictment on this Government’s economic failure. They are the human cost of measures that are failing children and families and leaving the long term unemployed without hope. It is getting clearer by the day that this government is letting down Manchester people.
“We urgently need action to get local people into work. This is why Labour is calling for a compulsory jobs guarantee, which will get any adult out of work for more than two years, or young person out of work for a year, into a job – one they would be required to take.”
Commenting on the poverty figures Lucy added: “The rise in the number of families in work and in poverty is deeply worrying. The Government is failing to make work pay for people as wages stagnate and prices rise. We need real action on childcare, jobs, and wages. Manchester is on the front line in the fight against poverty. We mustn’t let David Cameron and Nick Clegg fail a generation of children.”