Long-term youth unemployment has fallen by almost two thirds. Independent research has found that long-term youth unemployment would have been twice as high without the new deal for young people, which is another reason why we should continue to invest in it, rather than abolishing it.
I have listened with interest to the mutual back-slapping club on the Labour Benches this afternoon. Would Ministers care to explain how it is that almost half of all young people aged between 18 and 24 who go on the new deal are, within 12 months, back on benefits? Is that an example of joined-up government?
Independent research has shown the new deal for young people to be highly effective not only in the hon. Gentleman's constituency but throughout the country. In his constituency, unemployment is down by a third and long-term unemployment is down by two thirds. In Peterborough, the number of people who have been helped by the new deal is greater than his constituency majority.