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Unemployment, Leicester

Volume 205: debated on Tuesday 10 March 1992

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To ask the Secretary of State for Employment by how much and by what percentage unemployment in the city of Leicester rose between January 1991 and January 1992.

In the Leicester local authority district, unadjusted unemployment increased by 4,877 or 40 per cent. in the 12 months to January 1992.

Is not the increase of 40 per cent. absolutely disgraceful? It is due to the inefficiency of the Government which no amount of Budget bribery can possibly erase. Does the Minister know that while the number of jobs went down and unemployment went up, crime in the county of Leicestershire rose by more than one third over the past 12 months, nearly double the national rate, but the chief constable has said that in the next year the force can spend £l million less? From the start of the day to its finish, the Government have got their priorities wrong.

The key question is whether the Government's policy will lead to an increase in unemployment or tend to reduce it. The hon. and learned Gentleman, who is an authority on this subject and a distinguished member of the Select Committee on Employment, must ask himself in all seriousness about the consequences for the supply of job opportunities of Labour's policies on the minimum wage and increased social charges. Those policies would have serious consequences for job opportunities.

Are not the best chances for employment in the city of Leicester and the county of Leicestershire today's Budget and the re-election of the Conservative Government?

My hon. Friend is absolutely right. We must remember that 300,000 people who go into jobcentres find a job within a month.