Today’s (Wednesday 15 May) rise in the unemployment figures reinforces fears that grim joblessness and job insecurity are all that this government has to offer millions of working people.
Calling for an urgent U-turn to create jobs in a flatlining economy, Unite, the country’s largest union, said it was ‘a disgrace’ that the jobless figures remained so high especially in relation to youth unemployment; the long-term jobless; and those who were under-employed, but wanted to work more.
Unite said that next month’s Comprehensive Spending Review is the real test of whether ministers accept that their polices have failed and that action is needed to reverse the ‘rising and grim’ unemployment figures.
Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: “Today's jobless figures confirm that David Cameron and George Osborne have nothing to offer but more of the same – lashings of austerity in a low-wage economy. Their polices, that have benefited the rich and powerful so generously, are leaving the lives of ordinary people in tatters.
“The 15,000 increase in unemployment for January-March is the latest in their list of disgrace, as is the continuing rise of those without work for more than two years to 464,000.
“Behind these figures are real lives, people who are wasting their talents but offered little by this government but a grim future, uncertainty and a life on the dole.
"When will it dawn upon this government that its economic polices have hit the buffers? Even the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the fount of financial orthodoxy, has told George Osborne to rethink.
“The upcoming Comprehensive Spending Review will reveal the truth about this government. Is it really capable of turning the corner for our country, with policies to nurture jobs, confidence and growth, or will it only dig us deeper into a recession hole?"
The next Comprehensive Spending Review, which will cover government expenditure for 2015-16, will take place on 26 June.
For further information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 07768 693940
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.5 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.