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Treasury

Volume 534: debated on Thursday 3 November 2011

Unemployment (Women)

The following are the answers given by the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, the hon. Member for Norwich North (Miss Smith), to questions from the hon. Member for Slough (Fiona Mactaggart) during Treasury Question Time on 1 November 2011.

The Office for Budget Responsibility published its unemployment forecasts in March 2011, taking full account of announcements at Budget 2011, but it does not publish forecasts by gender. The Government are committed to tackling unemployment and helping support women into work. The hon. Lady will be aware that female employment has remained broadly steady since the start of 2008. Employment among women aged 25 to 64 is up more than 100,000 since the start of 2008, and has risen by 15,000 in the last three months.

I was welcoming a young woman to the Front Bench, and I am glad to see young people representing people in this Parliament, but I do think it is shocking that we currently have the highest level of unemployment in more than 20 years—

I have a number of things to say to the hon. Lady, none of which would include any personal questions, of course.

I can assure the hon. Lady that the Government are reducing the deficit fairly, and I would point out in particular that we are taking 1.1 million of the lowest-paid workers out of tax entirely, and the majority of them are women. She will welcome that as much as I do. Furthermore, she should know that unemployment rose to its level of 30% under her party’s Government.

[Official Report, 1 November 2011, Vol. 534, c. 745.]

Letter of correction from Miss Chloe Smith:

Errors have been identified in the oral answers given on 1 November 2011. The correct answers should have been:

The Office for Budget Responsibility published its unemployment forecasts in March 2011, taking full account of announcements at Budget 2011, but it does not publish forecasts by gender. The Government are committed to tackling unemployment and helping support women into work. The hon. Lady will be aware that female employment has remained broadly steady since the start of 2008. Employment among women aged 25 to 64 is up more than 100,000 since the start of 2008, and has risen by 15,000 in the three months to August 2011.

I have a number of things to say to the hon. Lady, none of which would include any personal questions, of course.

I can assure the hon. Lady that the Government are reducing the deficit fairly, and I would point out in particular that we are taking 1.1 million of the lowest-paid workers out of tax entirely, and the majority of them are women. She will welcome that as much as I do. Furthermore, she should know that female unemployment rose by 30% under her party's Government.