Scotland to host summit on youth unemployment

May 7, 2009 at 1:22 pm Leave a comment

by Amy Bourke

A jobs summit for young people in Scotland was announced yesterday by Scotland Minister Jim Murphy, to curb rising youth unemployment.

Speaking at Scotland Questions, the Minister defended the Government’s ability to protect Scotland, as well as England and Wales, through the recession.

He said: “In the previous recession… Hundreds of thousands of Scots were made unemployed; hundreds of thousands of Scots were deliberately pushed on to incapacity benefit and a life free of hope, which is why I am happy to announce today that we will be organising a jobs summit next month in Scotland to ensure that the lessons are learned from the previous recession, so that young Scots can benefit from the £1 billion announcement that the UK Government have made about preventing long-term youth unemployment in Scotland.”

But he was criticised by both Conservative and SNP MPs for reverting to the Labour “old mantra” of citing Thatcherism.

David Mundell, (Con, Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale), the only Conservative to be elected to a Scottish seat in the last general election, said: “They [old mantras] will do him no good because the public know where the buck stops for this crisis.”

He was echoed by Angus Robertson (SNP, Moray) who said: “We are all reminded of the description of the Labour party by Lord Mandelson that “we are all Thatcherites now”.

“No, we are not—not on these Benches—unlike the Labour Government and their privatisation and cuts agenda.”

The recent Budget measures taken to draw Scotland out of the recession included increased funding (with an extra £700 million next year) and the temporary reduction in VAT.

Experts at the Centre for Economic and Business Research say that the “VAT cut is working,” but the Conservatives claim that £4billion will have to be cut from the Scottish budget over the next 4 years.

A new home owner mortgage scheme came into force last month, which will “offer relief on mortgage interest payments for up to two years for those who suffer a substantial but temporary loss of income.” It is hoped that this will help stem the number of repossessions.

There are currently 1.46million unemployed across the UK according to the Office of National Statistics (ONS). In January, the ONS announced that Scottish unemployment stood at 5.2%.


Entry filed under: Commons. Tags: , , , , , , , .

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