Angela Eagle

Member of Parliament for Wallasey

Angela's column for Wirral News - 21st January

angelaeagle.jpgThis week David Cameron made a speech in which he spoke about creating jobs and full employment. I listened to what he said with disbelief as did, I’m sure, the many thousands of people across Wirral and the UK who have suffered unemployment and a fall in living standards on his watch.

Cameron has had five years to get this right. He’s failed dismally.

 

His speech came as figures revealed that the number of people taking out second jobs to keep their head above water since the last General Election has soared. Unemployment amongst our young people also remains dangerously high and those who are in work have seen their wages stand still as the cost of living has increased. Many more are being forced to work part time hours and finding it impossible to earn more. Still others are being forced to do agency work or register with ‘umbrella companies’ as apparently self employed which means they have to pay the employer’s national insurance contribution to safeguard their state pension in retirement. Never has it been more insecure and difficult in the workplace.

So it is not surprising that people tell me that David Cameron’s talk of full employment seems like cynical empty words.

Week in, week out, I meet people at my advice surgeries, in coffee shops or in the local supermarket who tell me what they’ve gone through under this Government. I see the worry on people’s faces after another unsuccessful visit to the job centre. I’ve met the young people whose talents are going to waste because of the Government’s failure to invest in their future.

The Tories’ low wage economy has seen wages falling more than £1,600 per year, and the number of people paid less than a living wage has risen to nearly five million.

Four months before the General Election, David Cameron is suddenly promising to make life better. Too little, too late.

A Labour government will support the creation of more good jobs by backing wealth-creating small businesses and will bring in a Compulsory Jobs Guarantee to get the long-term unemployed off benefits and into work. We will ban exploitative zero-hours contracts, boost apprenticeships, raise the minimum wage to £8 hour and get more workers paid a living wage. Unlike the Tories, we’re offering real solutions to help people get on, and get into work.

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