Eilidh Whiteford


Labour Plans Don't Address Real Problems

Wednesday, 11 February 2015


Following an opposition day debate in the House of Commons on plans for a Jobs Guarantee, it has become clear that both Westminster parties are still wedded to the austerity agenda and are failing to address the underlying causes of long term unemployment in the economy. Both Labour and Tories are pledged to another £30 billion worth of cuts which have already had a disproportionate effect on the most disadvantaged in our society. The influential Institute of Fiscal Studies has suggested that there are huge cuts still to come following the election, further hitting communities and families suffering from Westminster’s austerity agenda.

Dr Eilidh Whiteford MP, SNP Work and Pensions spokesperson commented:

“We will support any measures aimed at tackling long term unemployment, but what is being proposed by the Labour party won’t fully address the underlying causes of long term unemployment, and will leave young people languishing on JSA for a year before they get the offer of a job. It is really important that we intervene earlier, as all the evidence suggests that earlier interventions are much more effective.”

“In response to youth unemployment in the wake of the financial crash, the Scottish Government introduced the ‘Opportunities for All’ scheme, which offers every 16-19 year old a place in work, education or training. Take up of that scheme has been overwhelming: record levels of school leavers - over 92 percent - now have a positive destination on leaving school. And more importantly, those positive destinations are sustained for 90 percent of school leavers. The number of young people not in education, training or employment is now at its lowest level since before the financial crash, and has decreased across every local authority area. It’s a good example of the Scottish Government working in partnership with local authorities, schools, colleges and employers, empowering them to deliver opportunities for our young people.

“The Smith Commission recommended that the full powers of Employment Support be devolved to the Scottish Parliament. In May we need a strong team of SNP MPs elected to Westminster to make the case for the ‘extensive’ new powers we were promised – and put an end to the Labour and Tory economic alliance on austerity – which we know is just not working for communities across Scotland.”

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